Sunday, June 07, 2009


Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin – it’s a cast that never ends. With names like that, it is no surprise really that HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU was a hit last February. Factor in the perfect Valentine’s Day timing and how could you go wrong. The film won its weekend with just under $30 million and went on to earn just shy of $100 million. Not bad for a film that was based on a book that was based on one line of dialogue from the “Sex and the City” series. I missed it in theatres but now that it is available to rent, I’m not quite sure how any of you were that into the movie itself.

An incredibly sappy string driven score, complete with wind chime highlights, opens the Ken Kwapis (LICENSE TO WED) film. A little girl is playing all by her lonesome in a sandbox and then a boy approaches her. She looks at him and wonders what he could possibly want with her and he in turn, in true little boy badness, shoves her and calls her names. At this point in the film, I am worried that I am in store for a very silly film but a voiceover steps in to suggest that this scenario is where all troubles begin for the ladies. This little sandbox girl runs to her mommy who explains that this little boy only treats her badly because he likes her. Suddenly, I am wondering if this cheesy chick flick might be able to answer a mystery I’ve never quite understood – why do girls always go for the bad boys? The insight lasted for about five seconds though and before long, I was drowning in good actors acting poorly, poor actors acting worse than usual and so many exaggerated dating clichés that I was glad to be single and along watching this banality of a picture.

HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU tries to capture the particular moment in time that people of the dating world are living these days. We are a society of instant gratification. We expect certainty within moments of meeting and we decide within those same moments whether to use and discard or just not bother. We play by so many rules that no one can even see the goal through the field. Though we maintain specific distances with people, we claim to want closeness and we continue to play no matter how futile we think the whole affair to be. We are a complicated bunch and Kwapis paints us all as pathetic little losers with no hopes of ever finding love. His explanations are far too facile but he is sure to reinforce that we need another to be complete our lives and experience real happiness before wrapping up so that we can all continue to lose sleep wondering why he’s just not that into me.


Jes Corbeil said...

I agree with your review. I brought it home recently to watch with the missus. It was like the ugly offspring of a low-rent L'auberge espagnol and a no-name clone of When Harry Met Sally. Plus, Drew Barrymore brings disease and desolation to any film she works in.

Christian Toto said...

I had a far more positive reaction to this one - maybe because I expect so very, very little from today's romantic comedies.

I liked how not every loose end was tied up, ultimately, and the fact that the situations weren't all utterly contrived like "How to Lose a Guy ..." and every other rom-com of late.

Black Sheep said...

Hey Jes .. Drew brings desolation and apparently a gaggle of gays with her. What was that workplace she worked at? It was like she was the queen to all the homosexual worker bees. Weird.

And yeah, Christian, as I didn't like it at all, it is clear you did have a far more positive reaction. For a genuinely touching romantic comedy, check out Sam Mendes' AWAY WE GO.