After Bride Wars I was nearly afraid to venture to see another rom-com but on a snowy Friday something fluffy seemed appealing. So I joined a very female audience (about 98.9%) to see He’s Just Not Into You. This quote, if you remember, came from an episode of Sex and the City, which spawned a highly-successful self-help book and now this film.
My verdict? Well it’s nowhere near as much of a crash crash as Bride Wars but this is still no Pretty Woman. A stellar cast (Jennifer Connolly, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson) is seriously under-used in this interweaving story of couples coming together and falling apart. The central premise, as outlined by straight-talking barman Alex (Justin Long) is that if a guy does anything other than ask for your number (i.e. give you his number, say he has to go away on business etc), he’s not really interested. Of course, there are also male characters who don’t understand when they are being strung along – Kevin Connolly plays a poor sap who is being driven to distraction by femme fatale Scarlett Johansson, who in turn is being played for a fool by smarmy lawyer Bradley Cooper.
But the real message turns out to be (yawn!) “don’t judge people by their appearance”. What a ground-breaking concept!
While none of the parts are especially well-written, the male characters are much better served rather than the girls. Ginnifer Goodwin’s character GG is easily the third most annoying film female I’ve encountered (she is only beaten by the two harpies from Bride Wars). If Martians every decide to judge humans solely by modern romantic comedies, they will conclude that women are brainless, shallow creatures with no pastimes other than stalking men and being bitchy to each other. This is annoying because it’s not impossible to write decent female parts in these movies – see 27 Dresses for an entertaining example – but too often the girls in rom coms are reduced to being unpleasant paper cut-outs.
Anyway, go and see this movie with your female friends if you want an undemanding couple of laughs and your expectations aren’t too high!