“He’s Just Not That Into You,” but he might like the movie
Dr. Laura would no doubt have a field day with the rampant self-delusion and shallow relationships among the twenty and thirty somethings featured in “He’s Just Not That Into You.” But we don’t go see movies to discover therapeutic solutions to our problems. Rather, this film, which takes its name from a “Sex and the City” catch phrase and a popular book upon which it is loosely based, seems to hope audiences will connect with the varied romantic misadventures of its very good-looking cast.
Whether it’s the central character, the likable but trying too hard Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin of TV’s “Big Love”), the eternally living together couple (Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston), the wise bartender Alex (Justin Long), the obligated to marry pair (Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper), the seductress (Scarlet Johansson), the lovable loser (Kevin Connolly of “Entourage”), or the affable Mary (Drew Barrymore), there’s someone or some storyline for nearly everyone.
Clever one-liners and a screenplay that doesn’t try too hard to be poignant or contrived make for an easy-going film that will lead to interesting post-movie discussion. Tired of superficial romantic comedies or edgy fare that celebrates dysfunction? “He’s Just Not That Into You,” is a pleasant if not earth-shattering middle of the road journey, despite its multiple and occasionally choppy story threads. Sprinkled throughout are interjections and observations by “non-actors” which serve up some of the film’s funniest moments.
Affleck and Aniston seem particularly comfortable here, and while watching her marriage supplications aimed at her seven-year live-in (Affleck), one can’t help but feel the aging gracefully actress’s (she turned 40 this week) performance is pulled right from her personal history with what’s-his-name.
If you have ever wondered what might have happened to the kids in John Hughes’s 80s movies when they grew up, “He’s Just Not That Into You” is a snapshot. It fits comfortably between the unabashed inanities of “Sex and the City” and the smoldering wit of “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language.