on February 10, 2009
Hey, you...stop sitting by the phone waiting for him to call...get up and go watch this movie!
I have to admit, I'm not much of a rom-com watcher. Unlike others of its ilk, though, this flick wisely admits that relationships aren't all rainbows and butterflies, but that they are complicated, confusing, messes that aren't necessarily all sorted out by the time the credits roll.
The premise is simple enough - the film claims:
"If a guy says he'll call and doesn't, he's not in the hospital with a broken number-dialing finger; he's just not that into you".
After a mediocre first date with pre-recession real estate agent Conor (Kevin Connolly), the film's main protagonist Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), over zealous for date success and naively optimistic as ever, is certain that she has found Mr. Right. But when he doesn't call, her friends (Jennifer Aniston as Beth and Jennifer Connelly as Janine) comfort her with assurances of his interest and case studies of how they knew someone who knew someone in the exact situation - and it worked out for them, of course!
Not that Beth or Janine are living it up in the mansion of romantic bliss, mind you. Aniston's character has been living with Neil (Ben Affleck) for seven years, and for five of the seven, she's been dying to know why he won't pop the question. Wholly against the institution of marriage, though, Neil says that he's totally committed to her and he doesn't need a piece of paper to prove...yadda, yadda, yadda.
Connelly's character Janine on the other hand is married. Happily? Not so much. Ben's (Bradley Cooper) baby blues are soon tempted toward blonder waters when he meets Anna (Scarlet Johansson) at a convenience store one fine evening; how convenient. Too bad he's married, he reasons.
Drew Barrymore easily plays Mary, Anna's friend. Her role is pretty forgettable; but then she did spend most of her time producing the movie.
Justin Long plays Alex, the woman conquering bar owner who decides to school Gigi in the thinking of men, no feelings spared.
For the most part the story lines are tied together in believable ways and it's interesting to watch just how they're all connected - kind of like 6 degrees of separation.
A tough pill to swallow:
Perhaps too realistic at times, "He's Just" exposes the well-intentioned way we women attempt to comfort our spurned friends - not with assurances that despite her many attractive qualities, the guy just isn't interested for one reason or another. Instead, we assure our friends that there is no way he could be uninterested.
Really ladies, if you suspect that your friend is dating a guy who can't see her true worth, before you swell her head with an idealized, irresistible image of herself, please take her to see this movie, and let her do some soul searching. The film will do all the talking for you without patronization.
It's hardly a date movie (unless you want to end the date by breaking up when the scales have dropped from your eyes and you realize that you're more "into" the relationship than your significant other).
Best performances from: Jennifer Connelly as Janine who is more obsessed with the idea that her husband is smoking behind her back than that he is having an affair. Ginnifer Goodwin too has earned her keep. Her embarrassing attempts at securing "the one" are so realistic you will likely find yourself reddening at the all too familiar lengths to which she goes.
Best line from the movie: Listen out for the line the guy uses who ends up with Gigi (won't say who ;-)), it could be the "You complete me" of the 21st century!
This film may cause some discomfort. Side effects are generally mild and may include feelings of embarrassment over previous postdate obsession/stalking.
on June 7, 2009
Several reviewers have identified this film as being for the dating and coupling scene of youth. I disagree. We have many older folks out in the dating arena, these days, going through some of the same angst of the younger generations. Will they call? Do they care? Are they married and hiding it? And, for many older women who have become accomplished, they have to wonder; are they after me, or my hard-earned, success. So searching for Mr. Right, over the course of our lifespans, doesn't change that much; in fact, it can get more complicated. So, in essence, this movie can provide some thoughts to ponder across the age spectrum. A very good thing, since even seniors, can turn into gushy teens, again, when shot by Cupid's arrow.
(SPOILER) Some felt that the relationship between Ben Affleck and Jeniffer Aniston's characters was a tad unbelievable; that they would live together for 7 years without marriage and that ultimately Ben's character would cave. I disagree, again; their relationship rang the truest. They had a very loving, faithful relationship, that had endured time. When Aniston's character removed the obstacle of marriage, Ben's character no longer felt he was being forced into conformity. It was then HIS decision; one conceived in freedom-of-choice. This was textbook Psych 101, 'you can take the horse to water, but can't make him drink,' until he darn well pleases.
The idea of 'marriage' was the area I found unsettling, because how many of us ladies were the one to drop the, less than subliminal, idea of 'marriage' first? If so, it makes you wonder if your partner really wanted the same thing, or if they just 'settled.' This was very well, and sadly, depicted in the Connelly relationship. And, for many who did push the commitment proposal, first, I suspect it will have them staring into their partner's eyeballs with some jaded contempt, wondering why they didn't have the storybook proposal, while strongly empathizing with Connelly.
The cast was stellar, with a few reservations. Drew Barrymore's character was irresistibly charming, as always. Johannsen's husband-stealing seduction was very well played out, and, is guaranteed to make you bring out the cat-claws. You've seen the type too many times before, but then, she wasn't the problem, just a symptom of a much deeper one, which is generally the case. The character I found most annoying was J. Goodwin. Yeah, she was cute, but too ditsy and trying too darn hard to connect with Mr. Right. Her behaviors were the most immature of the bunch, but we've all known friends like her; ones that we are always telling 'you can't find anyone if you're trying too hard---it will happen when you least expect it.' This philosophy even rang true for her.
I thought this film could have been better developed, and the messages deepened. It had a 'flaky' factor I did not embrace. I'd rate it a B+ accomplishment. However, I will still recommend it to all my friends that remain on the prowl; even for those that believe they've found their soul-mate, because it reminds us that things aren't always as they appear; that denial can exist in what is believed to be the perfect union, leading to lost years and promises---and life is too darn short.
Have a girl's night, watch it, and cherry-pick the scenes of wisdom, and/or the behaviors that apply to you. I can almost guarantee that you'll find some.
on June 6, 2009
This has nothing to do with being a chick flick or not. It's a great film filled with experiences that men and women go through in relationships. Great to watch if you're looking for an easy laugh. My wife and I saw it with some friends in the movies, and I must say that part of the fun was hearing the comments and laughs coming from the audience. So have your friends over, open a bottle of wine, and have an enjoyable light-hearted evening. It's worth it.
Obviously this movie has hit a nerve with a large volume people, and whether you hate or love it the Blu managed to make for a nice product.
The 129 minutes does seem long, but the variety of color tests and hidef clarity showcasing this awesome cast makes for a watchable Blu. The colors, depth and scenery variety make for an adequate representation, including the sailing, the dark indoors, room decors, and Scarlett. The sound is uneventful but you do have the choice between TrueHD or normal 5.1. And if even just to hear Kristofferson's voice say anything in TrueHD, albeit only two scenes.
The special features are definitely...unique. If you liked the premise of that invisible wall being removed during the film - the "interviews" of the random people on the street - then you you will dig the main feature here.
* A "newspaper" format of the six couples/storylines that when selected, allows you to delve deeper into the characters' lives. Actually, brief excerpts can be seen during the credit sequence. Each one totals three minutes and admittedly, it peaked every single customer's interest when they saw it, because it seems real. Several people thought they were watching Hollywood couples being interviewed about their relationships. Bradley Cooper's "interview" gathered the biggest crowd, but irritated most of the guys watching.
* If one ever has interest into how much a phone conversation scene in a movie can be micromanaged, look no further. This four minute feature has the director dissect in detail how they made one of the phone call scenes have relevance that even the trained eye might miss. If anything, several people now wanted to watch the film again to see what the heck he was talking about.
* The inspiration and history of the film are covered in an eleven minute documentary, catered to the die hard fans.
* The deleted scenes total 13:45 and would have been much better left in - especially since we had already endured two+ hours of this. The commentary gives no credibility as to why Scarlet's actual singing was removed from the film. Coupled with Teresa Russel's entire role being cut, it just showcased the weakness in the writing people complain about in this film.
Big fans of the film will want this as a purchase, but since 90% of my Blu customers are guys, I foresee this as mostly a rental.
on June 21, 2009
First I heard that so many great actors and actresses in this movie, I felt like whaoow.. it must have been a great script that all of them join the team to make this movie. But sometimes they're kinda tricky, many great actor and a good director but suddenly it's way overrated (which I don't understand how come they waste all that talents) but not in this one. People kinda harsh to this movie, I guess that they expect a simple feel good chick flick, or romantic comedy, as usual. This one is more of a serious romantic drama with a little bit humor like in real life, so I found it amazing. Real life opinion (not the ones they put on purpose between each written explanation, ex : "if he never calls you" then some guy or girl talks.. no .. not that one), the story itself is telling us about relationship, how to find and maintain one, in a great storytelling style, it's kinda slow at the beginning but it's all worthied to be watched and learned from. Some little real life comedy here and there, but overall it's a great drama about realtionships. All the actors, actresses and the director are doing a great job.
If you are trying to find or in a relationship, this movie is totally worthwatching. Trust me. If you are a chick flick regular, probably you won;t find this one as fun as other chick flick or romantic comedy (because this is more of a drama). I like it a lot. Thanks
on July 6, 2009
I thought this movie was excellent. I wasn't expecting it to be all that great since the critics panned it. I read the book and loved it. I became a semi fan of Greg Bernhardt (?) even watched his short lived talk show. The characters in this movie was dead on. They were interesting, and the movie was engaging not boring. My best couples was Gigi and Alex, but also Jennifer Anniston's character and Ben Affleck. Marriage is an important part of most women's lives. I never could quite understand why some guys can be content of going on for years and years without commiting to marriage. What's the difference? I think this movie kind of answered it for me. When being pressured and pushed, guys will run....but as soon as they are able to relax about it; and get no resistance from their partner, all of a sudden marriage isn't such a bad thing. Loved this movie...it was lighthearted and made me smile and felt good at the end.
For a nice pick me up, rent or buy this movie.
on February 5, 2009
Is it the feel-bad movie of the year? Although it's disguised as a Valentine's Day chick flick, and the advertising tries to convince guys that it isn't filled exclusively with mushy stuff, it's certainly not fun-loving. Exposing, analyzing and patronizing complex relationships, He's Just Not That Into You is a startlingly relatable film that alternates between reasonably entertaining and "drudging up bad memories." It's more sophisticated than you might think and the humor, which is fairly consistent, doesn't resort to raunchiness. The dating crowd will want to take note, however, that this isn't the type of movie you want to watch with your significant other, as you'll both probably leave feeling guilty, paranoid, overly inquisitive, or all three.
The film follows several relationships, each one originally independent of the other, until they all seem to collide at the conclusion. Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) assumes the stereotype of the pathetic, desperate girl, who obsessively waits for her many dates to call her back. She resorts to begging, stalking, and other degrading acts to win the attentions of multiple guys, each one shrugging her off. Alex (Justin Long), a friendly and experienced bar manager, steps in to give Gigi a few pointers on her depressing failure with the opposite sex. Relying too heavily on his advice and his playful concern, she starts to think Alex is interested in her, leading to even more angst. Their story is the most interesting, considering Alex's often eye-opening advice and the humor in Gigi's failings.
Ben (Bradley Cooper) was rushed into marriage with his wife Janine (Jennifer Connelly) and resultantly falls for the sensual flirtations of Anna (Scarlett Johansson). After a quick seduction, Ben realizes he's destroying the relationship with his wife, but Anna is fixed on the idea that Ben could be her true love. Meanwhile, Conor (Kevin Connolly) is wondering why Anna, who is his current girlfriend, won't sleep with him. This section of the film is the most serious, with tragic and emotional twists at every turn.
Neil (Ben Affleck) and Beth (Jennifer Aniston) have been happily in love for seven years, but when her younger sister announces wedding plans, Beth begins to question why she hasn't been proposed to. Neil doesn't believe in marriage, but Beth feels it's a necessity - leading to doubts, heartbreak and the most unlikely segment of the film.
There are an additional few love stories thrown in, each involving several of the characters from the major three plot lines. Perhaps the most inspiring piece of He's Just Not That Into You is the storytelling approach, which carefully intertwines almost every single character - by the end of the film, it's really just one complex story. The problem is that a series of serious relationships that are falling apart, getting glued back together, or never having a chance to develop, is occasionally not varied enough to keep audiences amused.
The large and recognizable cast is delightful to see, introducing a new familiar face every ten minutes, and the humor is universal and doesn't resort to cheap yucks. The film puts on display every single stereotype, mold, rule, exception, and dilemma of relationships; some are predictable while others are surprising, but the whole spectrum is present. Told chiefly from a woman's perspective (guys are terrible and dishonest most of the time, although at certain points the men get their more unbiased viewpoint portrayed) He's Just Not That Into You is likely to rub a great many people the wrong way. It's not a date movie by any means, but it's also not as unintelligent as it appears.
- Mike Massie
on June 6, 2009
This is a movie that is a sign of our times. What happened to the telephone when people actually spoke to each other, heard their voices and inflections on the other end of the line.Oh the instant gratification of it all.I see a whole generation of people that don't know how to communicate with each other. Does anyone remember when Carrie Bradshaw got dumped by a post it note......coward.So all this technology may be great ( IM, Texting, e-mail Facebook, my space ...)there is nothing like actual person to person talking which without leads to non communication and confusion.I love all the cast of characters in this film, especialy Jennifer Goodwin...very good job, trying to find her way around the dating and double talk maze...Drew Barrymore always good ( exhaustingly states she got dumped by 7 different technologies in one day ) Jennifer Aniston plays a character that stands her ground, and Jennifer Connally does and an amazing job of a scorned wife, you could visually see her pain.There were a few good endings and surprises and a very enjoyable movie....Microwave some popcorn and see it with your friends and enjoy the converstion after the movie.
on July 8, 2009
I was not into seeing this film, but I watched it for free. This movie was not the romantic comedy I was expecting. It was extremely blunt about the problems and expectations men and, especially, women have when it comes to dating. Blunt to the point where you cringe for the characters, but the information for these people is necessary. It is the only way they can grow and gain the ability to be in a real relationship. That being said it did have some truly funny parts that blended into the movie perfectly.
The actors were all great, none more so than Ginnifer Goodwin. She is a lovable gal, who unfortunately lives in the dark when it comes to guys. And shock of all shocks, my favorite guy in this movie is Ben Affleck. (I despise this man as an actor, so for me this is huge.)
The only problem is I feel like the movie almost excuses certain characters for unacceptable behavior. (Minor SPOILER) The cheaters seem let off the hook instead of reprimanded. I don't care what society we live in or what year it is, cheating is always wrong!
Overall, I would recommend this movie, and you do not know how much this goes against my regular movie-going preferences.
on March 27, 2013
This is one of my favorite romantic movies. I think Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White, ONCE UPON A TIME) is amazing here, Ben Affleck too, everyone in top form, including Bradley Cooper, though playing an unlikable character, and charming Justin Long as Ginnifer Goodwin's love interest (Long played the nerdy teen advising Tim Allen & Sigourney Weaver via communicator-"Just push the blue button!"- in Galaxy Quest). Though there are multiple stories told, the characters are well-developed, in relation to each other, in many pithy, seminal scenes. Great, natural dialogue.
Personally, I think this movie superior to LOVE, ACTUALLY- more natural, less contrived. Note, for example, the great subtlety and yet significance of the scene in which Bradley Cooper declines Ben Affleck's offer of a cigarette. Another reason I love this is the strong chemistry between all the characters, friends as well as lovers. And the ending- where all the loose ends are tied up- not just one happy ending but several- perfectly punctuated by Keane's marvelous "Somewhere Only We Know", followed by the Cure, wonderful (the music throughout the film is great). And be SURE to stay tuned for the credits, because the movie continues for a few minutes after they begin to roll, indeed, some of the best scenes.
I read a few of the negative reviews and on reflection, I must say that I didn't find this movie funny either- honest, charming and moving, yes- funny, no.
I enjoyed the deleted scenes, hearing the director's rationale for deleting them. They would've detracted from the flow, true, but provide great backstory so watch them if you like the film (btw, the one with Scarlett Johannson singing in the cocktail lounge appears to have been filmed in the Observation Bar on the Queen Mary). There's an entire subplot involving Johansson's character, with Theresa Russell (Black Widow) playing her mother- intriguing, and very interesting why director Ken Kwapis decided to cut it. Only one small quibble do I have about the movie, and that involves being taken aback by some of the awful hair styles sported by the women (Goodwin and Johansson in particular), and in some cases, poor makeup (and/or lighting). Granted, everybody doesn't have to look perfect all the time, but it's quite a feat to make these beautiful women look haggard, as they do in several scenes (not Goodwin, she's radiant, it's her hair that's atrocious). But that's minor- this movie has romance, heart, charm, and wisdom, in my humble opinion. Granted, it's not exactly a feminist manifesto, but even so, it makes some VERY incisive observations about relations between the sexes. I dare say a large percentage of people in this world spend an inordinate amount of time looking for someone to love and love them, the central theme of the film.
There was one misstep in that in one scene Johannson storms out of Ben's office without bothering to put her dress back on, that might have raised a few eyebrows. Lastly, I would have found it satisfying had Jennifer Connolly ended up with Javier, but that didn't happen, darn it. I think you'll find this well worth your time, and you won't soon forget the characters and what happens to them.