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STUDIO: New Line Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 129 minutes
Deleted scenes with optional commentary by
director Ken Kwapis
Did he/she call? You think he/she will call? Should I call him/her? I’m pathetic aren’t I?
Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper.
The lives of nine people intersect (more like collide) as they each deal with the various problems they have of either being in a relationship, trying to get out of a relationship, or hoping desperately for a relationship.
“Now, you understand, I’m just not that into you, right?”
“I have whipped cream, a donkey and a pocket rocket at home and I know how to use them.”
“Really? Well, I…uh…”
I don’t know why I was led to this path of thinking, because the two topics are wholly exclusive of each other. But I couldn’t help comparing this movie with something that Kiefer Sutherland said in A Time To Kill as racist Freddie Lee Cobb. Even though it was an extremely distasteful line, uttered by an extremely distasteful character, it rings true for romantic comedies: “You can’t blame a ____ for being a ____.” Replace the really bad word that goes there and put in “romantic comedy” instead, and that’s the point of view it helps to have when dealing with He’s Just Not That Into You. This film is a romantic comedy…actually it’s about four or five or rolled into one. The one thing and the only thing this film is about is relationships.
“What’re you into, Scarlett?”
“Well, Ryan did this thing with dog semen and donuts one time…”
The central character in the film is Gigi (Goodwin), a pretty but flighty and insecure office assistant who finds some way to ruin potential relationships with men before they even start or to obsess over dates that weren’t even that good. In this case it was a date with Conor (Connolly), a real estate broker. Gigi goes on several unsuccessful dates and spends the movie getting advice from Conor’s friend and bar owner, Alex (Long), who has all the answers about dating because he’s seen it all. Alex’s willingness to continually help her with her love life leads Gigi to believe that he’s just that into her, with initially disastrous results.
“What is your husband into, Jennifer?”
“Painting himself white and flogging himself with leather straps in churches…”
Meanwhile, Conor is actually interested in Anna (Johansson), a yoga instructor and aspiring singer who used to sleep with him, but now has him on the friend tip. Conor also is struggling with his business somewhat and decides to associate himself with gays in order to open up new business avenues. Conor also meets Mary (Barrymore), who is a friend of Anna’s who has spoken with Conor on the phone before because she helps him with his newspaper ads. They of course hit it off and start dating, which is good for Mary because her situation is the take on all of the ways that people have to deal with dating electronically: cell phones, online, etc. She had “dated” guys she had met only online or on the phone.
“Ginnifer told me what Paul was into. That’s some trippy shit.”
“Yeah, well, I had him down to doing it only on Christmas and Easter, but it’s gotten worse since Angels & Demons came out…”.
While that is occurring, Anna meets up with Ben (Cooper), a record exec, who happens to be married to Janine, who is also a workmate of Gigi’s. Still with me? Good, cause I’m not… The fire is gone out of Ben and Janine’s marriage because as Ben later confides, he was pressured into marrying her when he wasn’t ready. And Janine is trying to hide from this fact by remodeling their house. A major issue between them also is that she had pleaded with him to stop smoking because her father died of lung cancer. She becomes suspicious when she finds a pack of cigarettes in their garden. And although Ben continually denies that he’s still smoking, he admits that he had an affair with Anna.
“What do you mean you’re only into PCs?”
On the flipside, Ben’s friend, Neil (Affleck) has the opposite problem. He’s been with his girlfriend, Beth (Aniston), for seven years and loves her and only wants to be with her, but doesn’t want to get married. She of course has problems with this and eventually decides to leave him. However, after seeing later how shitty her sister’s husbands are to her siblings, she realizes that she threw away a perfectly good thing. Oh and she is also a friend and workmate of Gigi’s.
“So uh, you know I’m into Jennifers, right…?”
Some of the relationship arcs are painfully obvious, while others aren’t. And even though there’s pretty much every romantic comedy cliche in the book stuffed into this film, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not watchable. Director Ken Kwapis, a veteran in the chick flick wars (He Said, She Said, Beautician and the Beast, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) keeps things moving and he does get some good work out of his actors. Bradley Cooper is particularly good and probably gets the meat of the good stuff, while Affleck is also fine in a limited role and Connelly and Goodwin also turn in nice performances. Barrymore might have done better to stay in the producer’s chair on this one, though. Make your peace with yourself that you’re going to get a relationship overload here and you might survive it.
Film looks fine and sound is suitable in Dolby 5.1 and there are English and Spanish subtitles. The only special feature is approximately 14 minutes of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Kwapis, which I wasn’t that into.