Like millions of other females around the United States, I couldn't wait to see "He's Just Not That Into You" and went to see a matinee yesterday with friends. Let me tell you, I really wish that I hadn't!
In summary, it's basically the story of several women dealing with/overcoming the jerky men in their lives and in the case of one woman, becoming a tramp with a married man. It starts out by showing a date between Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Conor (Kevin Connolly). The date ends and Gigi had a great time, so when Conor tells her it was nice to meet her and then gets on his phone as he's walking away, she gets all excited thinking he's interested in her. Then she waits for him to call, and waits, and waits. . . Pretty much her storyline in the movie is dealing with all the jerky men she keeps trying to hook up with until she starts talking to Alex (Justin Long), a know-it-all bartender, who helps her see the pattern she's set up for herself. And perhaps he might get interested in her himself. . .
As another storyline, we follow Beth (Jennifer Aniston) and Neil (Ben Affleck) a couple who have been together for seven years. Following the announcement that her sister is getting married, Beth starts wondering why she and Neil aren't married. He basically tells her that it's because he doesn't believe in marriage but is just as committed to her as if they were married. Later, Beth breaks up with him because she wants to have a ring commitment that badly. And of course, as Neil is one of the more decent men in the movie, she pines for him the entire time.
Anna (Scarlett Johannson) has been semi-dating Conor until one night she meets an attractive man in the grocery store. They hit it off until he informs her that he's married, but this doesn't stop Anna's pursuit of him, especially when he offers to try helping advance her singing career. Despite being married to Janine (Jennifer Connolly), Ben (Bradley Cooper) ends up hooking it up with Anna. Scumbag!
Drew Barrymore plays Mary who is desperately looking for love through electronic means. She tries everything from MySpace to text message to a videochat where she and the man both drank coffee, so it was like a coffee date. Nothing seems to work out for her, but she does get to utter some of the movie's best lines, I must say. However, her storyline doesn't get much screen time so it's almost like a series of cameos.
This sounds like the formula for a great rom-com, but boy did it disappoint! My first and foremost problem with it was the complete lack of morals, particularly between Ben and Anna, who commit adultery. Call me a prude if you will, but in my book, marital vows are sacred so to see Ben so blatantly disregard his, with Anna's encouragement, really bugged me. I felt uncomfortable every time that couple was on the screen. It didn't help that Anna was sleeping with Conor on the side.
My second problem is there are no redeemable men in the movie! Every guy portrayed is some sort of scumbag! Ben, of course, is an adulterer; Neil is commitment phobic; Alex is probably the most decent, but there's a part where he shows how shallow he is; and Conor, well let's just say he had a distinct gay vibe that didn't make him a plausible leading man. Speak, Jamie and I left the theater feeling like all men are scum from what the movie communicated. (We know this isn't true but that's one of the messages we picked up.)
Another prominent theme seemed to be that women are destined to go after jerky men and then wonder why the same thing keeps happening over and over and over again. . . While I believe dating isn't easy and people of both sexes can be scummy, I refuse to believe we will ALWAYS go after the jerky ones! I have a number of guy friends who are the antithesis of jerks and will make someone a wonderful spouse someday.
The movie does have some humorous parts, but the humor doesn't outweigh the message and it certainly doesn't outweigh the terrible men. Call me a prude if you will, but I also thought it had terrible language, particularly when Beth drops the f-bomb. I can overlook other cussing but I hate that word, and it was unnecessary. In some ways I also felt like the movie portrayed that even though women always seek after men and marriage, it's not all it's cracked up to be--either the husbands are cheating scumbags (re: Ben) or they're lazy bums who do nothing but sit around and watch sports (Beth's sisters' husbands after her father has a heart attack and she is taking care of him). Ugh!
I would most definitely not recommend this movie. Save yourself the $8 ticket (or $6 if it's a matinee) and go see something decent instead.