By Rebecca Ford
A week ago, I was perusing the bookshelves at my local dollar bookstore, when I noticed it. There, next to a Hillary Clinton biography, it sat screaming at me with its pink and green cover.
“He’s Just Not That Into You”
This instant-hit of tough love advice took the world of single, clingy, broken-hearted women by storm a few years back. It’s combination of honest-ugly truth and empowering mantra was just what women needed.
I admit I’d never read the thing, but with a screening of the new film a week away, I thought I should do some research.
While the book is clearly self-help, it’s also funny and not quite as painful as you’d think. Sure, the authors, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, give it to you straight (some guys just won’t think you’re all that special), but they also remind you that you are worth someone thinking you are special.
Now, to the film. Based on the book, I would expect this film to be a lot of really insecure women crying over their men, and making excuses for their bad behaviors. And, sure, there is some of that.
But the movie surpasses the book on so many levels. It’s funny, and real, and imaginative all at the same time. I’m not saying it’s going to change the world any time soon, but it is a valiant effort in examining the messy dating game, and the causalities it can leave behind.
“He’s Just Not That Into You” tells the story of a group of interconnected Baltimore-based twenty- and thirty-somethings involved in all levels of the dating scene from casual dating to married.
The cast is all-star, to say the least. Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Kris Kristofferson, Bradley Cooper and Ginnifer Goodwin play the main characters, and do it well. The real standouts are Goodwin, who plays Gigi, an insecure, and somewhat clingy single girl, and Bradley Cooper, who plays a married man whose eyes are straying towards Scarlett Johansson. Both of their performances are honest, and endearing, even when their characters are doing all sorts of embarrassing and hurtful things.
Perhaps the best thing about this movie is that we finally get to see how we act in the dating game. And the reflection isn’t pretty. Overanalysis, stalking, and passive aggressive behavior are just a few of the tricks that we all know too well.
The dialogue is genuinely funny, mostly because it’s so relatable. Often, it is secondary or tertiary characters who have the best lines. Each “chapter” of the movie is introduced with a random person talking straight into the camera (like the Sex and the City TV show of yore) about their troubles of the heart. These monologues are witty, creative, honest and a nice addition to the film.
There were a few problems with the film, especially with such a large cast of characters. While having so many main characters was important to exploring all the different types of relationships, it also meant that you had to keep straight how all these people knew each other.
Also, because—by movie magic—all of these characters are somehow connected, it begins to feel a little incestual. Really, when I thought about it, I realized there were a set of best friends, that through a chain of five hookups, had been passing around the same germs, but never realize it.
Finally, the movie can’t help but slip into the Hollywood happy endings for some of the characters. After spending two hours trying to tell us that the kind of love you see in movies is “the exception,” while most of us are just “the rule” in real life, it feels like a cop-out to give these love sick puppies their own happy endings.
But I can’t help but notice that those are the moments everyone loves. It feels so good to watch things end happily ever after, even if we know that’s not how it really works. It’s a lot like how I feel about this movie actually: You know it’s wrong to love it, but it just feels so right.
………See the whole article at The Cinema Source