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February 2009

by Krista Vitola


Distributor: New Line Cinema (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Director: Ken Kwapis
Screenwriters: Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein, based on the book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Cinematography: John Bailey
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Kris Kristofferson, Justin Long
Genre: Comedy, Romance
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sexual content and brief strong language)


When I first see the trailer for an upcoming romantic comedy, stacked with well-known actors and actress, I have to admit, I’m skeptical. I’m not a very judgmental person but after having seen many terrible movies that have A-list stars with a not-so-compelling storyline…well, you get my drift. Well I was pretty dead-on with my casting but my cynicism was definitely going to slap me in the face.

For those of you who don’t know the “He’s Just Not That Into You” books by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, readers are given insight, “q + a” style, into the excuses woman delve up when guys aren’t interested. These snarky and direct answers to women’s questions make a great self-help book and direct message to those who just aren’t getting the hint when dating. Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein wrote a seamless script, interweaving the lives of three co-workers and close friends and consequently branching out to their significant others, dates, and/or lovers. The main story focuses on Ginnifer Goodwin (Gigi) and her dating “fopas,” which ultimately lead her to Justin Long (Alex) who is the harsh voice—a.k.a. Greg and Liz-- and Gigi’s confidante as she continuously harps on the guys she dates, the one who are just not that into her.

But what really makes this film so down to earth and relatable are the quick “street corner” bits which focus on women dishing out their feelings over why things didn’t work out and what men do to them that drive them crazy, like make them think they are the ones who decided to break up, etc.

Director Ken Kwapis wants the audience to see how messy and complicated love is, how each and every one of us go through our daily lives with the same questions: how long is too long before a couple should get married? If he doesn’t call you in three days should you call him? Why do we fall for those cheesy lines guys come up with? Each couple in the film seems to fall into a specific category, and each relationship ends up with different results. Just like in real life. There is no fairy tale ending here people (okay, well maybe just a little).

In these categories are perfectly married Jennifer Connelly (Janine) and Bradley Cooper (Ben), there’s been dating for seven years and still aren’t married Jennifer Anniston (Beth) and Ben Affleck (Neil). And then there’s Ginnifer Goodwin (Gigi) who goes on a date with Kevin Connolly (Conor) who is roommates with Justin Long (Alex) who meets Gigi while she’s stalking Conor at his hang out bar, a.k.a. the bar that Alex manages. Yes people, its complicated, just like real life. And to top it all off there’s Scarlett Johansson (Anna) who sleeps with the married man and her friend Mary (Drew Barrymore) who gets myspaced and voice chats but never goes out with guys.

There are many things I can say about a romantic comedy but I’m not doing it for this one. This film was real, it was real and harsh and touching and irritating and wasteful. It made you want to scream and then commend, reprimand and then smile (like in the I told myself this would happen and I’m happy about it kind of way).

Sometimes we just don’t want to hear the truth even though it’s staring at us in the face. But we need it and we need to see that others make the same mistakes we do, hence why reality TV is such a bit hit. So go on out there and see this film, if for nothing else than to understand why you should start using the line: “I’m just not that into you.