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July 28, 2009

He’s Just Not That Into You

by Franz Patrick


He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)
★★ / ★★★★

This ensemble comedy, directed by Ken Kwapis, tells the intersecting story of late twentysomethings to early thirtysomethings as they endure the challenges that come with their romantic interests. Ginnifer Goodwin seems to have the worst radar when it comes to whether or not guys are truly interested in her. One day, she meets Justin Long and believes that he’s romantically interested in her despite his just-friends-and-nothing-else inclinations toward her (talk about not learning from her mistakes). For me, that was the best part of this movie because Goodwin gave out this certain enthusiastic energy that made me want to root for her even though she might seem a bit desperate and awkward at times. I loved the scenes when she would literally wait by the phone for a call from a guy that she had dinner with only once. Her worries poured into her workplace as her co-workers (Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston–each having a story of her own) consoled her. My second favorite storyline was Aniston and Ben Affleck’s. The two are in love and living together but they’re not married because Affleck doesn’t believe in marriage. This bothers Aniston’s character, especially when the topic of marriage comes up (the conflict was amplified when she heard about her sister getting married), but she tries to conceal her emotions with all her might. However, during the scenes when she couldn’t handle it anymore, I felt a genuine sadness for her character and I wanted to know more about her. Unfortunately, her storyline did not get as much screen time. The love triangle between Connelly, Bradley Cooper (who happen to be married) and Scarlett Johansson, I thought, was the weakest link. Though I did feel for Connelly’s character because both of us like to fix or organize things when things start to feel out of control, her storyline felt like it did not fit the movie. It was much more depressing than the other two mentioned. Not to mention Johansson is doing her pouty thing again and having an affair. In a nutshell, that storyline left me disinterested. I thought that the first part of the film was much stronger than the second half. The former was genuinely funny, fast-paced and offered a handful of interesting questions about why men and women are the way they are. The latter is the complete antithesis. If the director got rid of Connelly’s storyline, elaborated more on Aniston’s, and injected more of Drew Barrymore’s conflict with dating and technology, we would have a superior picture. Instead, we got a mediocre film that somewhat felt like (or tried to be like) “Love Actually” but considerably less charming.

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