| Note: Two Movie Reviews submitted below for "He's Just Not That Into You" by Keith Cohen and Jolene.
He's Just Not That Into You
2 1/2 Stars (Out of four)
Review by Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"
The circuitous route to the screen for this movie filled with A-list stars began with an episode of the popular HBO television series “Sex and the City.” It gestated into a self-help guide for women about romance, sex and love.
The No. 1 New York Times best-selling nonfiction book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tucillo soon graced the night tables of gals around the world who were previously frustrated trying to figure out the men in their lives. The famous phrase of the catchy title is followed up on the cover with the descriptive sub-heading “The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.”
Like the book, the movie tries to point out the warning signs that women misinterpret while wasting time in a dating relationship that is going nowhere. The crucial message that women need to be aware of is that men are not complicated and are driven by the basic need for sexual gratification.
While the male species has difficulty expressing emotions in words, their actions are a dead giveaway as to exactly how they feel about their feminine companion.
The movie opens with the desperate and needy heroine Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin from HBO’s “Big Love”) on a blind date with up-and-coming real estate agent Conor (Kevin Connolly from HBO’s “Entourage”). Things seem to go well. When he doesn’t call, she frets and obsesses with her work colleagues, Beth (Jennifer Aniston from “Marley & Me” and “Friends”) and Janine (Jennifer Connelly from “A Beautiful Mind” and “Little Children”). She even stalks Conor at his favorite watering hole, which is managed by Alex (Justin Long from “Live Free or Die Hard”).
Alex gives Gigi common-sense advice from a male perspective and tells her to move on to someone else.
This voyeuristic escapist fare offers a mixed bag of goodies. It plays on the screen like a primetime fantasy soap opera inhabited by beautiful people with no financial worries.
The movie suffers from sharply uneven pacing and a lack of cohesion. It is cluttered with too many characters involved in their own separate storylines. The fractured narrative flits around from one Baltimore-based setting to another and never allows for any character depth.
The movie is broken up into chapters lifted from the book. These include: “If he’s not calling you,” “If he’s not marrying you” and “If he’s sleeping with someone else.”
The talented ensemble cast also includes Bradley Cooper (“Yes Man” and “Alias”) as a married man who gives in to temptation and has an adulterous affair; Scarlett Johansson (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “The Other Boleyn Girl”) as a sexy, free-spirited yoga instructor; Drew Barrymore (“50 First Dates” and “The Wedding Singer”) as the advertising manager of a gay magazine; and Ben Affleck (“Hollywoodland”) as a contented and secure cohabitating man who doesn’t need a piece of paper from the state to make a committed long-term relationship more permanent and binding.
Director Ken Kwapis (“Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” “License to Wed” and “The Office”) makes a game effort to hold everything together. The patchwork of interconnected, anecdotal episodes is hampered by choppy editing and a lengthy running time of over two hours. Someone needed to excise some of the plotlines that don’t work and concentrate instead on the ones that do.
The variety of recognizable characters in realistic situations should allow every woman in the audience to find someone to closely identify with or something that triggers personal recollections. The cell phone and other modern electronic technology play vital roles in the way dating rituals, courtship, marriage and divorce have dramatically changed for those in the 20- to 30-year-old age range. The movie emphatically recommends that the old-fashioned method of face-to-face communication still works best in matters of the heart.
The movie ends abruptly with resolutions that seem forced and artificial. This salvage effort puts a sweet and sentimental icing on the cake.
This is a celebratory coming-out party for cutie pie Goodwin, who is the emotional heart and soul of this whole enterprise. She is the one person above all others that is worth giving a darn about. The rest of the cast make the most of their limited screen time.
The movie takes itself too seriously and needs more humor to lighten things up. It falls short of the classic romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” and the endearing screenplays written and directed by the great Woody Allen (“Annie Hall”). The ensemble romantic comedy with multiple storylines that occupies the top rung on the cinematic ladder is the popular British import “Love Actually.”
He's Just Not That Into You
4 Stars (Out of four)
Review by Jolene Mendez
Quite possibly the best romantic story to see this Valentine's Day, "He's Just Not That Into You" based on the best selling novel from Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo brought to the big screen by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. The story focuses on relationships between male and female. Focusing on several Baltimore residents and how each unique relationship has its problems. The initial relationship victim is Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) a single girl looking for love. Her tactics seem rather aggressive, borderline stalking. When Gigi meets Alex (Justin Long) she forms a friendship with him over drinks that include dating advice. This is where he teaches her about the rules and the exception, and is brutally honest with her about how a guy is not interested if he is not calling. Gigi taking his advice eventually leads her down the right path.
Meanwhile Gigi's co-worker Beth (Jennifer Aniston) is celebrating her younger sister's engagement, disappointed that after seven years with Neil (Ben Affleck) she is not celebrating her own engagement. Fed up with not getting a proposal and feeling stuck she calls it quits and the two go their separate ways. When Beth tells Janine (Jennifer Connelly) of her break up she begins to have concerns about her relationship. She is married to Ben (Bradley Cooper), who have been together since college and married once out of school. Janine seems to have a lot of trust issues with Ben, which seems to be good judgment when he takes a liking to Anna (Scarlett Johansson). Eventually their marriage comes to a blow out and who survives is pretty predictable. Anna's friend Mary also searching for love is struggling with how to determine who is the right guy and who is the one just looking for a good time. Using online outlets she struggles to find him coming to the realization that perhaps the old fashioned way of searching is best. Struggling to find who she is Anna turns to Conor (Kevin Connolly) who wants more from Anna than she is willing to commit to. Showcasing that not only are the females dealing with rejection, but the male perspective does too.
"He's Just Not That Into You" is a great film to answer all those questions you have about the opposite sex. So many questions tied together in a beautiful way to showcase that they are truly not interested. It may be a brutal bite of honesty, but its life and all of those singles can relate to most of these scenarios, and if you can not relate you certainly know someone who can. I loved how the film evolved with everyone's intertwined and on the verge of love suicide. This all star cast gets kudos for the amazing performances. My standout star would be Justin Long. I feel he played a completely different role and found him very appealing and offering much more sex appeal. This is possibly the best relationship movie to be seen by both genders that can be enjoyed equally. Judging from the crowd I expect this highly anticipated film to meet expectations. "He's Just Not That Into You" will be swooning all the girls and breaking hearts everywhere.