Love triangles. Desperate women. Desperate men. Lots of tears. It sounds more fitting for 3 p.m. on ABC, but it all comes together on the screen in “He’s Just Not That Into You,” a fictional story based on a non-fiction advice book “He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.
Let me save you two hours: If you’re a single guy (me) you’re going to come out of this movie feeling hopeless (though why you’d go see this movie, I do not know). If you’re a single girl, you’ll come out of this movie with a rejuvenated sense of hope. If you’re gay, you’ll just laugh (the gay angle makes more sense after you see the movie). And if you’re a guy in a relationship going to see this movie with your girlfriend, you’re not going to get any that night.
Directed by: Ken Kwapis
Written by:Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (screenplay) and Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (book).
Staring:Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Scarlett Johansson
Seen at:Lowes Boston Common
Try to absorb all this:
The movie opens on Gigi, (Ginnifer Goodwin) a desperately single woman who goes out with greasy real estate agent Conor (Kevin Connolly). Conor never calls Gigi after their first date, but Gigi sits by the phone hoping beyond hope that he’ll call. She eventually decides to “casually stroll into” Conor’s usual bar hangout where she meets bar manager Alex (Justin Long — the Mac guy) who takes poor Gigi under his wing, explaining, deftly and darkly, the true nature of guy-girl interactions.
Queue Ben (Bradley Cooper) and Janine (Jennifer Connelly), the token married couple in the film. They are pouring their yuppie dollars into renovating brownstone when Ben gets tempted by a yoga instructor-come-singer named Anna (Scarlett Johansson). Conor is in love with Anna, and they are technically dating, but Anna treats Conor like a best friend — ergo, she doesn’t screw him anymore. Anna gets bad advice from her best friend Mary (Drew Barrymore) who works in advertising sales for a gay lifestyle magazine. Anna decides to pursue the married Ben.
Then we have Neil (Ben Affleck) and Beth (Jennifer Aniston) who have been together for seven years but aren’t married, despite Beth’s desire and the fact that all her sisters are already married off. Neil is Ben’s best friend.
Finally, Mary is struggling with her own pseudo-single-ness, dealing with guys that text message, web chat, and MySpace her instead of call. Facebook would have made the movie seem less “2005.”
The whole shtick takes place in modern Baltimore, and it’s nice to see a city besides New York and Los Angeles portrayed.
The movie has an undoubtedly all-star cast. Affleck and Aniston seem like elder statesmen, and each give strong performances. In many ways, this is a break out film for both Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin. “He’s Just Not That Into You” was the #1 movie Friday night, with more than $10.5 million coming in at the box office.
Goodwin was (albeit purposefully) a little annoying, and Long seems to try just a bit too hard to sell his character as a chick magnet, but it’s obvious as the baton gets passed to these two young stars and that we have more to expect from them down the line.
The movie was full of “awwww’s” and hateful hisses from the largely female audience which really got emotionally invested in the film. It was a bit too long at 2:10, but that’s not surprising considering how many stories the ending had to tie up.
Scarlett Johansson plays a skank surprisingly well and comes off particularly sexy, even for her, and especially considering the shockingly wholesome temperature of the entire movie.
It’s a total chick flick, and “He’s Just Not That Into You” isn’t a movie made to please critics.
Playing to its base it does well.