February 13, 2009

Movie Review: He’s Just Not That Into You

Let’s get one thing straight: I love romantic comedies. Meet-cutes and happy endings – they’re the stuff that dreams are made of. But I did not love ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’ Maybe because the movie presumes to be a Girl Power film and then winds up catering to some pretty awful clichés. Sure, I wasn't expecting girl power in the traditional way – I knew Michelle Rodriguez wouldn't be strapping on boxing gloves and Jennifer Tilly wasn't going to be renouncing men altogether – but HJNTIY presents itself as a movie that understands the BS that women hear everyday, but then perpetuates the same clichés that made that BS possible.

Or maybe I just didn’t like it because it was too long, tried to do too much and featured some pretty awful acting (I’m talking to you ScarJo).

Here’s what I liked about the movie:
  • 'Some Kind of Wonderful' is a very close second behind 'Say Anything' for Best 80s Movie Ever. It's also the most underrated. Watching Ginnifer Goodwin recite Mary Stuart Masterson's lines along with her (from the scene embedded below) and then compare herself to Eric Stoltz was worth the price of admission alone.

  • I can’t think of the last movie I saw Jennifer Connelly in (Sorry Tracey Jordan, I know you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition, at.). As a woman trying to hold onto a supposedly perfect marriage who realizes how cold and asleep she’s been, she was great. And I loved everything she wore, especially this sweater:
  • Ben Affleck + Jennifer Aniston (I’m sorry, I literally can’t remember any of these characters names - #1 problem with large ensemble casts.) – They really held this movie together, and their relationship was so relatable and easy to root for. The couple that’s been together forever, both hung up on their individual long-held beliefs about what "marriage" means. She wants it, he doesn’t, but they come together in a difficult time and realize what love and commitment are really all about (hint: it’s not the diamond ring).
  • Surprising supporting cast: Luis Guzmán? What are you doing here? You were great. Uh, in that one scene (Paul Thomas Anderson – please make another movie so your ensemble members can participate in some more challenging projects). Yes Wilson Cruz! You have been aging so well! Hey Busy Phillips, what up? You know I love you. You would have been so much better as the Scarlett Johansson role!
  • By being directed by Ken Kwapis, a frequent writer/director on 'The Office' and featuring Kris Kristofferson, Trevor’s mom’s cousin, I’d like to think that I am now just one degree away from Jenna Fischer & John Krasinski and the rest of the cast of 'The Office,' who I yearn to meet.
Let’s get into my real issues with this movie.
  • Ginnifer Goodwin is adorable. That’s not the problematic part. The problem is, as the main character, we’re supposed to root for her the most. But she behaves absolutely absurdly; No woman wants to be shown someone so borderline desperate/pathetic, willing to completely force a relationship with anyone remotely interested, and be told that that’s who we should relate to. Eventually the script tries to pass her behavior off as proof about how much she’s invested in her own happiness, and she is slightly redeemed– I particularly liked it when she tearfully yelled “I might do a lot of stupid sh**, but I’m a lot closer to finding someone than you!” – but it was too late for her and I.
  • There was no reason for Bradley Cooper to be that tan. You live in Baltimore. Ben Affleck wasn’t even that tan and he was supposed to be living on a boat for Pete’s sake.
  • Dear Costume Designer, Why on earth would you have Scarlett Johansson wearing those awful jeans with tucked in shirts? Just…no. (You can barely see it here, but trust me, it was bad.)
  • Every single punch line was shown in the trailer. Seriously, every one. Except for the one with Jennifer Aniston at the wedding, and that I saw on ‘Ellen.’
I'd had this whole rant planned about the presumptuousness of having Ben Affleck/Jennifer Aniston get married after they'd already resolved that regardless of label they were committed to one another forever, but I realized that adding that scene in at the end was probably more about rounding out the movie (one divorce, two new couples, one marriage) than any statement about Marriage Being the Only Means to a Happy Ending, so I will just let it go for today.

All in all, it was an average movie, but it won't be joining 'When Harry Met Sally' or 'Something New' as my go-to Romantic DVDs any time soon.

6 Twix bars!


Jezka said...

I liked it so much more than you. Hmmm.