Sunday 27 September 2009

Film Review: He's Just Not That Into You (2009)

A group of several twenty to thirtysomething friends navigate the treacherous waters of relationships, dating and marriage in the internet age, where a multitude of communication options and modern day stresses only add to the already complicated and veiled signals that couples send to each other.

Sweet and honest Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) is desperately looking for a relationship, but seems to find all the wrong men and misinterprets all the signals. She turns to savvy bartender Alex (Justin Long) for advice on how to better understand men. Inevitably, Gigi is drawn to Alex, but is he interested in her or is he just being a friend?

Janine (Jennifer Connelly) thinks that she is happily married to Ben (Bradley Cooper). But in the midst of a home renovation project, he seems to have maybe secretly started to smoke against her strong wishes, and he maybe has also secretly started an affair with hot Anna (Scarlett Johansson). Can this marriage be saved?

Beth (Jennifer Aniston) and Neil (Ben Affleck) are the perfect couple, but they are not married, and he never wants to be, while she is longing to tie the knot. The relationship ruptures over this conflict. Can it be recovered?

Mary (Drew Barrymore), who works in marketing, is embroiled in the electronic dating age, and mostly meets, communicates and breaks up with men through various digital devices. She eventually connects with a client, real estate agent Connor (Kevin Connolly), who was one of the men to dump Gigi, and who is finding professional success by advertising to the gay community. Connor also thought that he could have a serious relationship with Anna, but she just wanted him as a casual friend. Can Mary and Connor hit it off?

Loosely based on the best-selling book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, and directed by Kevin Smith, He's Just Not That Into You is an enjoyable examination of age-old adult relationship issues with a modern gloss. The movie plays its cards well and feigns steering straight into pessimistic and cynical territory before turning sharply towards affirmation of some time-honoured values.

Smith finds the fine line where comedy is used to enhance and enrich rather than disrupt the narrative, while the excellent cast get into their characters and appear to park their egos at the studio door. The script by Behrendt and Tuccillo with help from Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein rounds out the characters and generally avoids both annoying cliches and contrived situations.

He's Just Not That Into You is a flighty yet fun film that's easy to get into.

All Ace Black Blog Movie Reviews are here.

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