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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You (2009)

Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language.
Runtime: 2 hrs 9 mins
Genre: Comedies
Theatrical Release:Feb 6, 2009 Wide
Box Office: $93,409,454
Review :
The good Dr. Freud once asked, what do women want? To judge by the recent crop of what are often sneeringly referred to as chick flicks, today’s woman wants designer threads
, extravagant weddings and a generous helping of public humiliation served up with laughs, most at her expense.Where have you gone, Thelma and Louise? Oh, right: those gun-toting runaway heroines played by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, who wore old blue jeans and confidently put the moves on the men in their lives in Ridley Scott’s 1991 outlaw female fantasy, drove off the cliff at their big finish. You have been missed, ladies.
I bring up Mr. Scott’s film because whenever faced with another puerile movie ostensibly about women, I play a little game called What Would Thelma and Louise Do? Consider, for instance, the scene from “He’s Just Not That Into You” in which the perennially disappointed Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) says goodnight to her first-time, last-time date, a real estate agent, Conor (Kevin Connolly). As she clings to his every diffident word, her wide eyes shining and smile as fixed as that of the Joker, Gigi comes across less like the bubbly young thing she’s meant to be and pretty much like a crazy person. She walks off and immediately calls a friend to say that the date went well. A few yards away, Conor rings another woman.

What would Thelma have done? Well, she might have bedded Conor with gusto (and no marriage plans), as she does a hitchhiker with miles of muscle played by the young Brad Pitt. (Her greatest lament: he rips her off.) And Louise? Given that her lover is played by the gruff and grown-up Michael Madsen, I like to think she wouldn’t even have bothered with Conor. (That, or shot him.) Adult women like Louise might pull a Mrs. Robinson on special occasions, though not if there’s a man like Mr. Madsen steaming up the room. But adults have become something of an endangered species in big studio movies, particularly in romantic comedies, where female desire now largely seems reserved for shoes, wedding bells and babies.
These days Hollywood is taking its storybook cues from that old children’s ditty:
Mary and Johnny sitting in a tree
First comes love, then comes marriage
Then comes Mary with a baby carriage
Such is more or less the reductive case in “He’s Just Not That Into You,” which is based on an obnoxious so-called advice book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, which in turn took its inspiration from the HBO series “Sex and the City.” The book’s title refers to an episode in which Carrie’s man du jour, Berger, bluntly puts Miranda straight about a guy she’s dating. Miranda thinks she’s receiving mixed messages, but men are just not that complicated, Berger says. The guy simply isn’t interested.
The movie “He’s Just Not That Into You,” directed by Ken Kwapis and written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, takes this bit from a 30-minute show and turns it into an overextended 2 hours and 12 minutes. Mostly it does this by turning Gigi simultaneously into a joke (by playing her desperation for laughs) and a victim (by playing her desperation for tears). It’s a grotesque representation of female desire, one that the appealing Ms. Goodwin can’t save from caricature. It says something about the romantic comedies coming out of Hollywood that the character Ms. Goodwin plays on the HBO series “Big Love,” the youngest wife in a polygamous Mormon marriage, is treated with far more dignity than Gigi.
Despite this, there are a few nice moments, most courtesy of Jennifer Connelly, as the wife, and Scarlett Johansson, as the mistress, of an understandably gaga lawyer, Ben (Bradley Cooper), who doesn’t deserve either of them. Usually tightly wound even when she’s meant to be falling apart, Ms. Connelly cuts loose and goes (relatively) dark with her character, Janine. When she learns of her husband’s infidelity, you can see the storm — the shock, the hurt, the confusion — gathering in her face. Even better, you have no idea if Janine will break into pieces. Life has knocked her sideways, and Ms. Connolly keeps the character there for a while, inserting a bit of the unknown into the otherwise predictable proceedings.
Ms. Johansson’s Anna is, of course, the designated bad girl — she’s also the woman Conor dials after his date with Gigi — but the role doesn’t stick. Ms. Johansson seems too comfortable in her own beautiful skin to pay attention to wagging fingers, particularly when they belong to a twerp like Conor, who delivers a late sermon about her commitment issues. One problem with the movie is that, aside from Ben Affleck, who plays Jennifer Aniston’s marriage-phobic boyfriend, the actors are seriously outmatched by the actresses. Justin Long, the guy from the Macintosh ads, and Ms. Goodwin are a questionable-enough match. But Ms. Johansson and Mr. Connolly, the second guy on the left in the HBO series “Entourage,” make no sense. She’s Scarlett Johansson, for goodness’ sake!
It’s worth noting that in a movie ostensibly dedicated to the relationship worries of the modern (straight) woman, Anna is also the only one in the distaff batch with an active, seemingly pleasurable sex life. Most of the other women are too busy trying to land men, trying to hold on to men or ruining their relationships with men to actually have sex. (Drew Barrymore, meanwhile, pops up a few times, often surrounded by wisecracking gay men.) Imagine an action flick in which the hero spends the entire movie chasing the villain without the compensatory satisfaction of smashing his enemy to smithereens. There’s a reason action producers like Jerry Bruckheimer blow stuff up in their movies: They know what men want.

Based on the wildly popular bestseller from Sex and the City scribes Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, He's Just Not That Into You tells the stories of a group of interconnected, Baltimore-based... Based on the wildly popular bestseller from Sex and the City scribes Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, He's Just Not That Into You tells the stories of a group of interconnected, Baltimore-based twenty- and thirtysomethings as they navigate their various relationships from the shallow end of the dating pool through the deep, murky waters of married life, trying to read the signs of the opposite sex... and hoping to be the exceptions to the "no-exceptions" rule.
Gigi just wants a man who says he'll call--and does--while Alex advises her to stop sitting by the phone. Beth wonders if she should call it off after years of committed singlehood with her boyfriend, Neil, but he doesn't think there's a single thing wrong with their unmarried life. Janine's not sure if she can trust her husband, Ben, who can't quite trust himself around Anna. Anna can't decide between the sexy married guy, or her straightforward, no-sparks standby, Conor, who can't get over the fact that he can't have her. And Mary, who's found an entire network of loving, supportive men, just needs to find one who's straight.
If you've ever sat by the phone wondering why he said he would call, but didn't, or if you can't figure out why she doesn't want to sleep with you anymore, or why your relationship just isn't going to the next level... he (or she) is just not that into you.
The film boasts an all-star cast, including Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting, Hollywoodland) as Neil; Jennifer Aniston (Marley & Me) as Beth; Drew Barrymore (Music and Lyrics) as Mary; Academy Award® winner Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind, The Day the Earth Stood Still) as Janine; Kevin Connolly (HBO's Entourage) as Conor; Bradley Cooper (Yes Man) as Ben; Ginnifer Goodwin (Walk the Line, HBO's Big Love) as Gigi; Scarlett Johansson (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) as Anna; Kris Kristofferson (Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story) as Ken; and Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard) as Alex.

A New Line Cinema Presentation, a Flower Films Production, He's Just Not That Into You is directed by Ken Kwapis (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, NBC's The Office) from a screenplay by Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein (Never Been Kissed), based on the book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. Nancy Juvonen produced the film, with Drew Barrymore, Toby Emmerich, Michele Weiss and Michael Beugg serving as executive producers and Michael Disco and Gwenn Stroman co-producing.
The behind-the-scenes creative team is led by director of photography John Bailey (Must Love Dogs), production designer Gae Buckley (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2), editor Cara Silverman (Keith), costume designer Shay Cunliffe (The Bourne Ultimatum), composer Cliff Eidelman (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), and Grammy Award-winning music supervisor Danny Bramson (Mission: Impossible III, Almost Famous).
He's Just Not That Into You will be distributed domestically by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. --© Warner Bros

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Kris Kristofferson
Director: Ken Kwapis
Screenwriter: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein
Producer: Nancy Juvonen
Composer: Cliff Eidelman
Studio: New Line Cinema



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