Reel Shorts | He’s Just Not That Into You!

9 02 2009

Much has changed since Hollywood declared “Love a Many Splendor Thing.” Several couples go through various love changes in the somewhat effective but ultimate perplexing romantic drama, “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

From the earliest encounter between a young girl and a mean, abusive boy sets the stage for a group of young Baltimore twenty-somethings trying to navigate through the murky maze known as love. The story examines the exploits of an overeager woman, Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) who has difficulties reading the intentions of men she comes in contact with. After several disastrous outings she befriends certified ladies’ man, Alex (Justin Long) who serves as her “Obi Wan of love.”

Over on the other side of town, repressed and unhappy housewife Janine (Jennifer Connelly) is building her dream house and living in denial and showing more interest in her husband’s, Ben (Bradley Cooper) deceit about his smoking than his affair with a hot yoga instructor, Anna (Scarlett Johansson) – who is teasing and using a clueless local real estate agent, Conor (Kevin Connolly) as her boy toy.

Which brings us to the film’s most conventional couple, Beth (Jennifer Aniston) and Neil (Ben Affleck) who have the perfect relationship but is missing one thing she craves – marriage. While not afraid of commitment, Neil just doesn’t believe in the institution much to Beth’s chagrin. Finally, newspaper account executive Mary (Drew Barrymore) is trying to find Mr. Right – is she can figure out what technology she needs to use to connect with him. With the help of her “girlfriends,” will Mary – and the rest of our confused cast find happiness?

Director Ken Kwapis infuses the story with some cute asides and has a great cast to work with but this heavily-female influenced story is a sad commentary on modern romance. Along with last month’s “Bride Wars,” these films paint women as commitment/marriage-obsessed and merely exist to snag ANY man. Judging by the exploits of some of the film’s characters it is really easy to understand why many of them were having problems sustaining healthy relationships.

The film treads over familiar terrain, but lacks the charm of British favorites such as “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Love, Actually” or “Playing by Heart.” While the film has several notable witty moments, it is hard to root for or care about the majority of the film’s characters.

So ladies, please bear that in mind when you get resistance or interest from the man in your life because it’s not that he’s just not into you but it is sitting through two hours of a movie that has NOTHING to offer him – or his gender!

Grade: C-




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