He’s Just Not That Into You
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… chick flicks are a part of life. You can fight them and fight them and fight them, but it’s a losing battle, my friends. Try as you might, you are going to have to watch a few of these things from time to time. What? Not you? Your girl doesn’t make you blah blah blah blah? Oh right right, wait awhile. SHE WILL. Point being, they aren’t all horrible nightmares the way most of them are.
“ Have you been married? You are married? And what was your question?”
I’ve got a friend ( I talk about my friends alot don’t I?) I don’t want to name names, so for lack of a better name we’ll just call him… Brian Harnden. So Brian doesn’t watch as many movies as me, it’s not even close, what he does do however, is develop…obsessions. Brian will connect with a movie, and then decide that he is going to spend some time with this movie. So then he’ll watch it 10 or 15 times and study it. I basically adopted this idea from Brian a few years ago, and on occasion in my writing, I watch a movie 2 or 3 times to study it a tad. Sooooooooooo…. we’ll just say, I watched this one…ALOT.
He’s Just Not That Into You, brought together an A-list cast and jumbled them all up showing individual and collected efforts, to find that happy ending. Most of the time in real life though, there is no such thing. Oh you know some people though? Your neighbors brothers in-laws have been married for 48 years? Wow. Well bad news, they are not the rule, they are the exception. This film takes this idea, and breaks it down to its core.
THE LIST: Successes
1. Realities – Not Popcorn
People are stupid, and relationships tend, more often than not, to be garbage. That definitely makes me sound like a cynic, but you know what… SCREW IT.
Relationships are important, and can be the most important thing in your life, but romantic relationships aren’t on the top of my list, and more and more people agree with me. Your friends count; the people that support you the most, they count; hopefully, the people you work with and the family members you are close with, count; but in any case, you hold the people that matter the most the closest in your life, but lots of time the person that you are being romantic with isn’t even in the top half of the list.
We see a dose of reality in this movie of how things really are: how people really act in real life and how things don’t work out just about as often as they do work out. It’s not all popcorn, rainbows and happiness the way 90% of chick flicks we force ourselves (or get forced) to watch, end. The situations and stories in this flick are straightforward and pack a punch. They don’t sugarcoat it.
We’ve got a happy couple who are struggling with the idea of just living together happily for ever, as opposed to needing to get married. A cool as ice bartender with all the answers. A man and wife unhappy in their marriage. For good measure they added a whole handful of hopeless romantics, just what you would expect.
This isn’t the typical garbage. Boy doesn’t always meet girl and sweep her off her feet. They don’t always ride off into the sunset. Mostly, this crap is complicated. I’ve had complicated this, and complicated that, you have too. In most of the stupid movies we see about romance however, there is no plight. In this one, nobody’s trying to destroy anyone else and shit isn’t hitting the fan, that’s the way things happen in real life though. It was good to see that on film for a change.Another great reality included is the way that social media, networking, and technology are represented as physical parts of romantic relationships in the digital era. Facebook, Myspace, Blackberry, voicemail, email, texting, video chat, these are all represented and show cause and effect. Things are different now, and it was COOL to see THAT on film for a change, too. In one scene we see a young woman complain about all the ways you can connect and get rejected, referring to it as exhausting.
2. Ensembles – They couldn’t do it alone
Now as much as I liked this movie… I’m not going to act like I think any of these people are, in fact, great actors. Justin Long makes me laugh almost always, anytime I see him online or in a movie, so he gets that amount of credit. As I mention often in other posts, I’m a Ben Affleck person ( I know, I know… I have no excuse) so when Ben shows up in a flick, I do the best I can to give it all the help I can.
Jennifer Aniston couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag. Bradley Cooper and Kevin Connolly are basically in the same boat. They pulled off these roles, however, because they were just trying to act like regular people, and that isn’t really as hard as being complex characters in other films.
So I like Justin Long, Drew Barrymore, and the Affleck, and while I’m at it, I’ve like more than a few things that Scarlett Johanson has been attached too. Namely Ghost World, Match Point, and Lost In Translation.
So all in all, this was cast right.
3. Plots all tied together – the world is smaller than you think
The story follows many different relationships and situations with a variance of levels. Like movies tend to do sometimes, the stories are all interconnected. Hey, that’s ok with me, sometimes in a specific city, specific people of similar ages are all connected to one another, it happens. So where others have tried and failed this movie takes the ensemble, does it’s best to give everyone a respectiably similar amount of time on screen, and get creative cutting it all together.
The writers also insert interwoven perspective on specific situations in general dating and romance, from a lack of intamacy, to judging past relationship flaws, and all the ways caller id hinders stalkers. Small time actors are cast in roles inserted as place markers pretending to be real people talking about real things. It works and I almost let myself believe they were real interview responses, a nice little touch.
Here is one of them.
(end of THE LIST)
I’m not saying that I have no hope in romantic relationships due to past failure, like several of the characters in this film. What I am saying though is that, despite the odds stacked against us most of the time, if you put in the right amount of effort with the right person….
No forget it, I have no hope in romantic relationships, due to past failure. I love movies though, and chicken.