He’s Just Not That Into You
This dramedy that is being sold as some silly romantic comedy is actually pretty serious and interesting look at relationships that works for the most part, outside vindicating the failures of some its characters in the end and warping young girl’s minds.
The film follows an ensemble of intertwining characters and couples, for instance Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, and Ginnifer Goodwin (yes three “jen”ifers) all work together and they gossip about their love life’s, Connelly and Aniston both are married or in a long term relationship, while Goodwin is the example of exactly how a girl should not act if she is trying to pursue a man, which connects us to a Kevin Connolly as they open the film on a date though he is already infatuated with Scarlett Johansson who has a chance encounter with Bradley Cooper who is Ben Affleck’s friend who is in a long time relationship with Jenifer Aniston to bring things full circle. Now the interconnections between these people come into play for an occasional twist here or there, but where the film works the best is in the examination of relationships and the courting process of males and females today. Aniston and Affleck are in a long relationships but there is no sign of marriage, Goodwin crashes and burns through one attempt after another as she tries to figure out why she has such bad luck in the daring world, and Cooper and Johansson struggle with weather it is possible to be just platonic friends. The film also address a few other issues like dating with new technology of the day through Drew Barrymore, dealing with trust and betrayal in a relationship, and when a friendship has turned into a relationship.
The film brings up a lot of intriguing issues when it comes to relationships but it also doesn’t make any huge revelations either. The film does do a good job at balancing out the drama with the comedy and has some excellent pacing to boot. The film moves along with ease and also does a good job at creating more than one dimensional characters for just about everyone in the cast; which is quite the feat with how many characters pop in and out of the picture. Though, as I expressed earlier the film hurts itself by painting fairly realistic portrayals of relationships for most of the film and then caves in on itself by making two male characters fold on their ideals, though one of them was realistic, while rewarding the psycho antics of Ginnifer Goodwin’s character. The film contradicts itself by starting of with saying, girls don’t act like this, don’t let your girl friends tell you things are going to work when they won’t, don’t bullshit each other into thinking there is something there when there isn’t, then in the end it just falls back into chick flick cliché for a couple of the plots with things magically working in the end; vindicating errors by characters that don’t deserve redemption. This in turn is sending the message that you can act like a crazy women and it will still work out in the end, when it was doing a great job of showing girls a realistic look at the way relationships work; it’s just frustrating. Regardless though, outside of that, I thought the film was pretty enjoyable.
The cast is also fantastic which helps elevate this film above similar ‘girly’ fair as this may be perceived as. The guys in the film are all pretty accomplished and not a bunch of ‘no name’ pretty faces. Bradley Cooper continues to cement himself as a star to stick around as he fights his conflicting feelings. Ben Affleck is sweet and funny in his few scenes and works well with Aniston. Justin Long is hilarious as usual in his role as the “expert dater”.
Kevin Connolly also has some good moments as the lovable loser of sorts of the picture. The women also are good, with Barrymore’s spacey and lost girl looking for love providing laughs and Ginnifer Goodwin’s insane bachelorette really being the stand outs. Jennifer Connelly really shines though in her few scenes and creates a female character you can get behind. And Aniston is solid per usual, though she doesn’t really stand out from the pack.
In the end, He’s Just Not That Into You is an entertaining and almost fairly realistic look at dating life. It tackles some tough subjects and makes some fairly decent observations as well at times, but it ultimately hurts itself by contradicting itself on a number of key points it shouldn’t have folded on; especially after they were addressing them so well. A decent date movie but an even more interesting relationship drama, the studios will pump out at least 5 movies aimed at this target market this year that won’t be anywhere close to as entertaining as this. So enjoy it while it lasts because it is not that bad and will probably be one of the better “romance” films of the year.