February 7, 2009
Review - " He's Just Not That Into You " (in Theaters) - By Roland Hansen
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He's Just Not That Into You (Flower Films)
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper,
Ginnifer Goodwin, Justin Long, Scarlett
Johansson, Kevin Connolly, Drew Barrymore, Busy Philipps, Kris Kristofferson.
This movie sets Womens lib back at least 60 years. Betty Friedan must be
positively spinning in her grave.
"He's Just Not That Into You" follows nine intertwined characters struggling to
make sense of their love lives. The women, especially Ginnifer Goodwin's
hopeless romantic Gigi, tend to be needy and demanding; the men, like
Bradley Cooper's cheating Ben, are often caddish and evasive.
We begin with Gigi obsessing over the blind date she just had with Baltimore
real-estate agent Conor (Kevin Connolly). Winsome and attractive as she is,
she's also annoyingly desperate, to the point where she drives herself and
everyone else mad analyzing every "uh" and "er" she exchanges with a guy.
Gigi is the stereotype of the pathetic, desperate girl, who obsessively waits for
her many dates to call her back. She resorts to begging, stalking, and other
degrading acts to win the attentions of multiple guys, each one shrugging her
Thankfully, Conor's restaurant-manager pal Alex (Justin Long) is there to strip her of her girlish illusions. Functioning as
the voice of the book, Alex gives her advice that's hilarious in its harshness: "Maybe he just didn't call because he has no
interest in seeing you again." Long brings a charisma to this cruelty. Relying too heavily on his advice and his playful
concern, she starts to think Alex is interested in her, leading to even more angst. Their story is the most interesting,
considering Alex's often eye-opening advice and the humor in Gigi's failings. Because from there, everything else is a
downer. Gigi's co-worker, Beth (Jennifer Aniston), has been living with boyfriend Neil (Ben Affleck) for seven years, but
he's never asked her to marry him, and that's beginning to wear on her when her younger sister announces wedding plans.
Their other colleague, Janine (Jennifer Connelly), is married to her college sweetheart Ben (Bradley Cooper), who's having
an affair with yoga instructor Anna (Scarlett Johansson in full va-va-voom mode). Johansson does a good job playing the
confused free spirit and looks rather sexy in her underwear or out of it.
Drew Barrymore has a supporting role as the sales rep who helped place Conor's ad in the local gay newspaper; with the
help of her flamboyant co-workers, she laments the way technology has actually made dating harder, spouting off the maze
of communication devices that prevent actual human contact in today's social environment, but her observations aren't
particularly funny or insightful.
The all-star cast does a good job with the material they've been given. The performances are solid but the characters are
throwbacks to the Neanderthal era and at times are almost excruciating to watch. The most liberated couple in the film are,
without a doubt, Beth (Aniston) and Neil (Affleck). They're both
successful intelligent people. They've been happily in love, living
together, committed to each other for seven years. They have a
good life, a happy life, Neil has always been upfront and honest
that he doesn't believe in marriage but somehow Beth falls for the
old idea that a woman can't be happy or fulfilled unless she has
a ring on her finger. Fortunately there is a happy ending for
nearly everybody. Each of these pathetic characters grow and
change by the end of the movie and become almost human.
It's the ending that saves this film. You'll get a warm and fuzzy
happily ever after with a satisfactory conclusion to a majority of
the story lines.