Take, for example, “He doesn’t deserve you.” “He’s just intimidated by your beauty.” “He’s shy.” “He’s ugly.” “His last girlfriend said his breath stinks.” The list could go on and on, but today’s popular catch phrase for bursting your best pal’s bubble is “he’s just not that into you.” Ouch. Personally, I prefer the intimidation theme.
Director Ken Kwapis uses an all-star cast to teach us the cold, hard facts about relationships.
Hang on, this could get confusing. Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) goes out on a date with Conor (Kevin Connolly), who is in love with Anna (Scarlett Johansson), who falls in love with the married Ben (Bradley Cooper). Gigi thinks the date went well, and expects Conor to call any day now. He doesn’t, and she decides to try to “coincidentally” run into him at a bar.
Bartender and womanizer, Alex (Justin Long), sees what is happening and stops Gigi in her unrealistic tracks with the truth about guys that she desperately needs to hear.
Gigi’s friend, Janine (Jennifer Connelly) smoothes her ruffled feathers by doling out excuses as to why Conor has yet to call.
Co-worker Beth (Jennifer Aniston) overhears the conversation and contributes to the delusion. We follow Beth home to her yuppie loft and learn that her boyfriend Neil (Ben Affleck) of seven years, though loyal to Beth, disagrees with the concept of marriage. Anna, the home wrecker, confides to her single and seeking friend, Mary (Drew Barrymore), that her newfound married lover is planning to leave his wife for her. And round and round we go and where we stop nobody knows. Except for me, because I’ve seen the film.
Sounds complicated, but it’s not. In fact, it’s even entertaining. Enlightening. I didn’t want to like it, but, strangely and unwillingly, I did. This movie won’t change the world, but it might change your point of view.
Based on Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccilo’s self-help book by the same name, “He’s Just Not That Into You” feels like you’re attending a relationship seminar on how not to be duped by men and how to know what women are thinking. Feel free to take notes.
— “If a guy wants to call you, he’ll call you.” No more sitting by the phone conjuring up scenarios about how he lost your number. The tornadic winds tore it from his grasp. His best friend was jealous and hid it from him. His dog ate it. He ate it.
— “If a guy wants to go out with you again, he’ll ask you out again.” No more excuses, ladies. No more “maybe he was hit by space junk and is in a coma.” No more alien abduction rationalizations. No more “maybe he was sent on a top secret mission in the Andes and cannot disclose his location. “
Are you getting the point? Let’s move on.
— For you married gals out there, the lesson is this: Your husband will probably cheat on you if the marital spark fizzles. If the light goes out in your relationship, hubby’s gonna find another light bulb, and it’s probably gonna be one of those new fangled twirly bulbs that don’t fit under your old lampshades.
— For those who are unhappily unmarried, let it be known that if you’ve been dating for several years and he hasn’t proposed to you yet, he isn’t going to. That’s right. You heard it here. All those years planning your wedding and your dream home and choosing your adorable children’s names — wasted. Gone. And if you’ve been living together, pretending that you’re married this whole time, well you’ve just given Johnny-boy a free pass to male chauvinism. Hey, sometimes the truth hurts, sister.
Well, after seeing the film and immediately calling my husband to make sure he still loves me, and after spying on him for a few days and shooting him up with truth serum for a casual conversation about loyalty, I decided to call BS on this presumptuous film. Although it was amusing and engaging to watch, it doesn’t make the rules to the relationship game.
Maybe he really is shy and is nervous about calling. Maybe he really is too intimidated to approach you. Maybe he really was abducted by aliens. Or, maybe not.
But the rule remains: There are no rules. Trust yourself. Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. If you feel like you’re being taken advantage of, you are. If you hope he likes you but aren’t sure, keep hoping. There’s nothing wrong with a little hope nowadays. Toss the manual and go with the flow. When it comes to love, take no one’s advice but your own. Got it? Class dismissed.
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language, and running at a healthy 2 hours and 10 minutes, “He’s Just Not That Into You” gets 3 bags of popcorn.
— Kammeron Polverari writes a movie review for The Robesonian.