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He's Just Not That Into You is Spot On

Published February 6, 2009 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of New Line Cinema
He's Just Not That Into You PosterHe's Just Not That Into You
I have been looking for closure on He's Just Not That Into You since last summer when I saw the trailer before the Sex and the City movie. It pissed me off so much to see Ginnifer Goodwin obsessing over whether some deuchebag was going to call her. I just went through my phone book with the 40 numbers of women I’d called in the last year and never heard back, thinking, “So you’re waiting for that guy to call you. I’m trying to reach you and your brethren and F you. Just F you and your dating clichés and rule book and theories and how cute it all is.” It seriously ruined my mojo for the rest of the year. I loved Sex and the City by the way. There’s a movie about responsibility in relationships.

Review: He's Just Not That Into You

Finally, nearly a year later, right in time for Valentine’s Day, I have closure. I finally saw He’s Just Not That Into You and it turns out, it’s more on my wavelength than the trailer led on. It’s got some of that “adorable” miscommunication B.S. but really it’s about social responsibility. Everyone’s so afraid of hurt feelings. People need to stop making excuses. Hey, it’s not all okay. Get over it. And also, stop asking your friends to make you feel better. They give the worst advice. Just go out and have more experiences. There are no “answers.” Just live life. One experience isn’t everything. If you dwell on it, you’ll miss experiences two, three, four and five.

It’s pretty spot on about a number of things, mainly the insanity that if a child bullies you, he’s actually in love with you. That really probably is where all this nonsense starts. I’d call it the death of sincerity, where people just want to analyze everything until it works out in their favor, and anyone who just has interest and wants to see if there’s a connection would get buried in the nonsense.

That evil scene in the trailer actually has a healthy payoff in the movie. Of course everybody thinks their reasons are right, and that is a perfect reflection of what you look like when you focus on the wrong things and miss the real opportunities. There are some really sincere characters, some with alternative points of view which is nice to see in a Hollywood movie. I think the best statement is that you shouldn’t be like everyone else. The people who don’t follow the same old path end up the happiest.

Some of the actors sell their storylines with real complexity. I won’t name names because I don’t think it’s important enough. Just some of the actors imbue their storylines with more reality because they are that good. It’s not just A list vs. B list. Some people who you’d expect are extraordinary, and some really outdo themselves. The weakest part is the direct camera addresses introducing each interlude. That’s where you have SAG day players hamming up the clichés.

In the end, they do totally sell out all this positive reality. At first, one of the storylines sells out and I still thought three out of four was okay. Then a second one really sells out and that’s half. Then a third one offers a pat epilogue with no accountability for anyone’s behavior, so you’re left with only one that really carries out its responsible storyline. Guess they had to leave their constituency with some fake Hollywood hope to get asses in seats.

It’s still saying that hope is better than cynicism so I can get behind that. And you get to see Jennifer Connelly in pigtails! If they’d put that in the trailer we could have saved all that anxiety to begin with.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of New Line Cinema

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