Tuesday, February 10, 2009

At the Movies: He's Just Not That Into You

At one point, I had plans with 3 different groups to see He's Just Not That Into You, the big screen version of a self-help book based on a Sex and the City episode (you got that?). After the reviews came out, and the critics basically said it was terrible, I cut my viewings down to one...which turned out to be one too many.

HJNTIY is, in a word, insulting. It follows 4 couples at different stages in their relationships. You've got the overly anxious single gal (Ginnifer Goodwin) and the dude who gives her advice about men (Justin Long), the couple who've been dating for 7 years, but the guy "doesn't believe in marriage" (Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck), the married couple who've lost their spark (Jennifer Connolly and Bradley Cooper), and the friends with benefits (Scarlett Johansson and Kevin Connolly), but one of them wants more, and Drew Barrymore, the unlucky in love comic relief (note there's not one "single and happy about it" person in the mix). Essentially, it's every possible set-up for a romantic comedy, ever, but without the charm or, well, romance.

Early on, Goodwin's character (Gigi) tells us all the romantic "fairy tales" women hear about men (deciding after 10 years they do want to be married or couples who get back together after a breakup to find the man completely changed and ready for commitment) are the exception rather than the rule. Gigi is The Rule (as are the women in the audience) and, as such, she must play by "The Rules" i.e. don't call a man, don't seem too interested, let him chase you, etc. etc....the things drilled into the heads of women my age for years. And some of these points are well made. Women shouldn't be with a guy who treats them poorly or who doesn't seem interested or who lies and cheats, but that's not really the problem.

The problem with the film is these "Rules" women become the exceptions. The guy who doesn't believe in marriage [Spoiler Alert] suddenly wants to be married. The fella who is turned off by Gigi's over enthusiasm becomes completely infatuated in return. Also, Gigi, as the central figure for the audience to identify with, is a complete caricature of a woman...needy and completely oblivious about her actions or self-worth.

Then there's the Connolly/Cooper/ScarJo triangle. The lovely Jennifer Connolly spends the entire movie being a bitch, only to forgive her husband for his affair with ScarJo. Later, with the straw that breaks their marriage, she leaves him because he's been lying about smoking. Really? This is the message you want to send? Ladies, if a man cheats on you, try and work it out, but if he lies about something like smoking, especially after we added a convenient line of dialogue to let everyone know you really hate smoking, kick him to the curb. Also, I actually hated ScarJo in this and I never hate ScarJo in anything...not even The Island. Add the dated nature of many of the storylines (really, what 30-something still "dates" through myspace?) and the fact that all the even sort of funny bits are in the trailer and I think you see where I'm going with this. Skip this movie. Save yourself your hard earned cash and your dignity.

9 comments:

Liz said...

I knew this movie was probably a bad idea when I first saw the commercial. The announcer says the title of the film in this odd, soothing voice, as if he's saying, "Now I'm going to gently use this pumice stone to help exfoliate the skin." That was a red flag that the tone was totally off.

Dave H said...

Haha, 20 points for mention of "pumice stone"

pistols at dawn said...

Thank God I'm a dude and therefore not genetically required to go see this dreck.

words words words said...

Wow, this made me hate a movie without even seeing it. I cannot see any movie that makes The Rules sound like anything other than the worst thing to happen to male/female relations since the invention of sports.

Andra said...

Nice to know my $10 were well saved...

Garney said...

That's why I'm seeing Coraline for Valentine's (not just cause of the rhyme).

Falwless said...

Every time I see the preview for this movie I want to vomit. It looks so fucking contrived, for all the reasons you stated here. I'm glad I'm not going to waste my money to confirm my suspicions!

BeckEye said...

What woman would leave Bradley Cooper for SMOKING? I fucking hate smoking too, but as long as he didn't do it while were banging, I'd be okay with it.

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