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Review: He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)

He’s Just Not That Into You (2009)

Directed by: Jonas Elmer

Premise: An adaptation of the self-help book. The story focuses on five women at various stages of their romantic relationships as they struggle with courtship, dating, and marriage.

What Works: He’s Just Not That Into You is very smart and usually does not give into clichés of love stories, or at least not the ones that have worn out their welcome. The story balances between the five storylines very well and interconnects them in ways that are not too contrived. All the main actresses are watchable but Ginnifer Goodwin owns this movie as a very sweet but insecure young woman who cannot decode the intentions of her dates. Her scenes play both funny and sad and despite the character’s mousiness, Goodwin’s good heartedness and fragility make her character very enjoyable to watch. He’s Just Not That Into You has been marketed as a comedy but it is about equal parts laughs and tears and it hits the high and low beats very well.  

What Doesn’t: There are some weaknesses in the casting. Although all of the women give good performances, it is notable that a piece intended to be about collective frustrations with men stars women who fit a very similar racial and socio-economic profile. The men of He’s Just Not That Into You are not given the same kind of character treatment as the women. For the most part they are portrayed as weak, as liars, and as needing a good woman to bring them around. It’s a disappointing move in what is otherwise a good screenplay. On the other hand, with so many female roles in Hollywood giving similar treatment to women, maybe it’s appropriate to just swallow this one.

Bottom Line: He’s Just Not That Into You is a very enjoyable romantic film. Despite some significant flaws, the film is smart and witty and has enough insight into contemporary romance to make it a worthwhile viewing.

Episode: #227 (February 15, 2009)