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THE CRITIC: We’re “Just Not That Into” This Movie

by Chau Tu 14 February 2009 177 views One Comment E-mail Chau Tu


I’m all about the indie flicks and those shoo-in Oscar faves, but I admit: I am a girl, and I love them romantic comedies, or what guys would call, chick flicks.  Who doesn’t want to escape for two hours and think of nothing but friends, shopping, embarrassing moments and that really hot guy up on the big screen?  So in the vein of past rom coms, and with the promise of the overflowing, recognizable and generally trust-worthy cast, I was actually quite excited about “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

“He’s Just Not That Into You,” as most of us know by now, was spawned from the book by Greg Behrendt, which was spawned by a moment in the television series “Sex and the City,” which was spawned by oh so many true moments in every wannabe lover’s life.  The gist of the line – girls just don’t get it.  The female sex is consistently, undoubtedly and frustratingly lost in their hopeless fantasies of love that they fail to see the truth of rejection.  They’d rather wish and hope for some ridiculous love than see the jerk for what he is right away.

It’s stereotypical, it’s true.  There are many female friends of mine whom I saw in the tragic, romantically hopeless central character of Gigi, played on par by Big Love’s Ginnifer Goodwin.  And then there were those well-known commitment-phobe guys, like Ben Affleck’s Neil, who won’t get married to Jennifer Aniston’s Beth, while his friend Ben (played by the über-tanned Bradley Cooper) whines on and on about his “trap” of a marriage.

So while there are many parts in this film that are relatable, there’s also just something not true about it all, too.  The easiest fault to point out: the stars.  You can’t blame (or help to applaud) the casting directors for being able to reel in such good stars to drive this movie, but I couldn’t help but be distracted that the friendship of Drew Barrymore and Scarlett Johansson doesn’t make sense, and that Aniston should really think more about this wanting-to-get-married thing.


But the problem goes far beyond the stars.  As much as the film tries to play off a sense of reality, it does so from a stereotypical and predictable perspective.  The characters are completely one-dimensional, based on only one stereotypical trait with no room to evolve, no chance to seem like a real person.  This is why you can’t get past the fact that Aniston is Aniston – because there’s no complexity to this character she’s trying to play to make us think otherwise.

What’s even worse is how hard these stereotypes are pushed – especially in reference to the female characters.  Sure, the guys are jerks, but the girls – the girls are just plain stupid.  I was personally offended that these female actresses were willing to portray their characters in such a demeaning way.  It’s a comedy about love, and making mistakes about love; but this doesn’t mean that the characters have to be so trite, so stupid.  What ever happened to girl power?

The advice of “he’s just not that into you” is catchy, straightforward and sometimes just so true, and therefore provided a lot of potential for a great movie about contemporary dating and relationships.  And if you want to see all the clichéd reasons for why women and men have so many problems, you can see this movie.  But you’re probably better off just going out somewhere else to see what social life really is like.

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One Comment »

  • ray said:

    Aw man, this looked like a good movie that would at least be semi entertaining. Guess not.

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