Posted: 02/07/2009


He’s Just Not That Into You


by Carolyn Oakes

Charming film packed with an engaging cast which ponders mastering the art of dating and relationships.

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The rights to a well-known and droll self-help book about dating. Check. Equally popular and capable cast. Check. Well placed 80’s pop songs. Check. Release date on or close to February 14th. Check. Produced by Drew Barrymore and Flower Films, well known for a string of romantic comedy touchdowns. Check. Onslaught of promotional appearances and peppy commercials. Check. Greenlight!

He’s Just Not That Into You is a perfect melting pot of all the ingredients required for a chick-flick grand slam. This is precisely why a large population of the movie-going public will be turned off by the sheer idea of this movie almost immediately, thinking something along the lines of, “psychobabble mumbo-jumbo about needy women and their dating woes in cinematic form…no thanks, I’ll pass.” This marketing dream of a film ended up exceeding my mediocre expectations, and hitting a home run anyway. Based on the popular 2004 book of the same title by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, viewers get a glimpse into a cluster of relationships , almost-relationships, chemistry-riddled friendships, and floundering marriages that all proceed toward one key idea: forcing any sort of relationship will almost always end in its downfall. Another main theme is the idea that love is something that often happens while you are seeking it elsewhere and with Mr. or Miss Wrong. Basically - relax, ladies (and lovelorn men)! Love has a knack for falling into your lap when you least expect it will.

The all-star padded cast includes Jennifer Aniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, producer Drew Barrymore, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, and Ben Affleck - a packed house of popular, charming and even critically acclaimed talents. Often times, one may assume if a film seems too desperate for the public’s attention with its dreamy assembly of the above-mentioned big-hitters, that it must be at a lack for content. Not quite so. Although this movie solves no world problems, and may not bludgeon its viewers with deep and meaningful questions upon leaving the theater, it is still an enjoyable ride. The film’s meandering and cleverly interwoven storylines neither proves or disproves Mr. Behrendt’s theories, instead opting to suggest that sometimes he is just not that into you, and sometimes he is just that into you. Often times it happens to be very obvious if he is into you or not, but only if you can take the dating game in stride (re: eliminating pressure on oneself or on one’s potential suitors).

The suggestion is made that by placing as little pressure on finding love as possible it may be easier to come by all together. I find this idea doubles as a perfect mindset to have before seeing this film. Don’t expect to be shaken and stirred with new insights and theories about life and love, but rather, enjoy this film for what it is. He’s Just Not That Into You is a perfect storm of the elements that create an experience that is what movies at their best should be: a fun, no pretenses, slice of life, and The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” splashed in as the credits roll, for good measure.

Carolyn Oakes is a writer in Long Island, NY.

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