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Hes Just Not That Into You
Genre Romance
Year: 2009
 
Review:

He’s Just Not That Into You is a star-studded comedy, drama and romance. The ensemble boasts names such as: Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, and introduces Ginnifer Goodwin into the fray. The film is an adaptation based on a book of the same title, written by Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt. The title “He’s Just Not That Into You” is taken from a line in one of the Sex in the City episodes, and one can see an influence in the narrative. While there seems to be a lead with Ginnifer Goodwin as Gigi, there’s no common thread to all these stories. Typically, these romance stories would all be the plot for their own “romcoms” if given enough of the spotlight. Instead of resorting to the traditional treatment, they opt for a “Love, Actually” scenario. Several relationships are examined in a liberal fashion and some even interconnect and dissect each other. Ken Kwapis (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) directs a strong ensemble, which shares the load of the two hour run time. His previous film License to Wed was weak, but Kwapis has a handle on He’s Just Not That Into You.

The story is based on love, and this makes its Valentine’s release date enviable to contenders. However, this isn’t a fairy tale, a blossoming love story or anything with a classic Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks or Drew Barrymore/Adam Sandler pairing. There isn’t really a central couple and this can make the film seem more suited to the realm of a television series like Cold Feet a.k.a. Love, Life & Everything Else. The dynamics and philosophies on love are interesting and it never becomes preachy, however it seems to have a glazed exterior. The character’s “Cosmo” over-simplification of love feeds into the superficiality of Sex in the City, however reducing the concept isn’t as easy as netting a butterfly.

There aren’t any stand out performances as they all seem to be on-par, and this owes to their share of screen time. Scarlett Johannson is vivacious and sexy as a Dharma wannabe, Ben Affleck is reserved and subtle, Jennifer Connelly is a bundle of nerves and Bradley Cooper keeps things taut with a tightrope act. He’s Just Not That Into You is a team effort and each performance has its place in the grand scheme of things. However, there’s no showdown and this makes the production seem more universal, than Hollywood. There is final resolve, but there aren’t any miraculous moments or airport scenes. The picture settles for a message that is neither happy nor tragic, and this split perspective gives He’s Just Not That Into You a soft focus. While its entertaining, the film doesn’t have consistent magic and also crowds the spotlight so that there isn’t a clear cut lead. This makes the palatable He’s Just Not That Into You more suited for television drama, an influence that filters through from its Sex in the City origins.

The bottom line: Scattershot.

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