Monday, June 15, 2009

DVD Views: He's Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You *
Directed by:
Ken Kwapis
Written By: Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein based on the book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin (Gigi Haim), Kevin Connolly (Conor Barry), Scarlett Johansson (Anna Taylor), Bradley Cooper (Ben Gunders), Justin Long (Alex), Ben Affleck (Neil Jones), Jennifer Aniston (Beth Bartlett), Jennifer Connelly (Janine Gunders), Drew Barrymore (Mary Harris), Busy Philipps (Kelli Ann), Brooke Bloom (Paige), Kris Kristofferson (Ken Murphy).

There are some movies that I watch that I simply cannot believe that so many talented people thought that the film would turn out any good. He’s Just Not That Into You, a completely inane, and horribly boring, “chick flick” is a perfect example of that kind of movie. How did this movie attract the likes of Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly and Drew Barrymore? Sure, each of these actors have a checkered history, and have made some pretty bad choices before, but surely some of them knew that this movie was going to be horrible, right?

The movie tells a number of stories, all loosely connected of course, about dating and relationships in the modern world. All of the characters are annoying or pathetic or assholes and a few of them are actually all three at the same time. Other than Goodwin’s Gigi, a lovable girl just trying to find love, who cannot understand why guys do the things they do, you do not care about any of them. I for one, was glad that by the end of the movie, nearly all the characters were paired up, if for no other reason than because that way, they could not project their miserable natures on the rest of us. These characters deserve each other.

Perhaps it would not have been that way if they movie had decided to eliminate some of the storylines. That way, it would have given the rest of the characters a chance to breathe a little bit, instead of every scene feeling like the director and screenwriters were checking off a box on some sort imaginary list. I mean in one movie we are subjected to too many storylines. Goodwin’s insecurity about her singleness, and her attempts to get together with Alex (Justin Long), who starts out just trying to help her understand why men act the way they do. Affleck and Aniston as a couple who have been together for years, but have yet to get married. Connelly and Cooper as a long married couple who no longer have sex, and who are having their marriage ripped apart by lies. Cooper flirting, and then more, with Johansson. Johansson stringing along Kevin Connelly. Barrymore trying to find a man, when really Kevin Connelly is right there in front of her the whole time. There are also marriages, and heart attacks had by parents, and one annoying scene after another where someone, who is not in the rest of the movie by the way, comes on screen to tell their story about how someone was just not that into them. The characters are rushed from one crisis to another so quickly, that the movie never has a chance to build any momentum.

He’s Just Not That Into You is a perfect example of why you should not make movies based on self help books. I’m sure that some women got something out of the bestselling book that this movie was based on, but judging on what I saw in the movie, it seems like common sense. If men don’t call, it’s because they don’t want to talk. If they don’t ask you out, it’s because they don’t want to date you. If they sleep with someone else, it’s because they don’t want to sleep with you. Etc, etc. Are women really that dumb that they need this advice?

Watching the movie, I alternated between being bored and being annoyed. Bored because nothing really happens in the movie. Annoyed because the movie cannot even obey its own asinine rules. This is one of the worst movies of the year. Which of course, helps to explain why it was so damn popular when it was released in theaters.

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