He's Just Not That into You

As an explanation of romantic incompatibility, the catchphrase title is stunningly unilluminating, no matter which of its six words is stressed. (On screen, the third one stands out in green from the white of the rest, but that seems an arbitrary reading.) Satisfied with the what and incurious about the why, it tends to slam the door on further discussion. The screen treatment of Greg Behrendt’s and Liz Tuccillo’s best-selling advice book, illustrated by way of a fictitious mating game for five women and four men, is similarly incurious. It’s … just … not … that … into… anybody. Its objects of study remain light on personalities, preferences, professions, particulars of any type. The stubborn superficiality, even so, puts up no impenetrable barrier to enjoyment. The filmmakers grapple with real and eternal and universal issues, in precisely the same sense that their puppets, the characters, grapple with them: the transmission and interpretation of signs and signals, the exercise of power and will, the preservation of self, the hope of happiness. Ken Kwapis, while not a director of impressive imagination, is an efficient traffic cop, maintaining good spacing and smooth flow; and his ace cinematographer, John Bailey, oils up the action in luscious, flattering, sunsetty pinks and oranges. There are plainly too many characters, too uneven in numbers, for happy endings to be arranged across the board; and such arrangements are tricky enough to be not readily apparent from the start. As far as they can be made, they fall well short of Jane Austen, but they nevertheless are deftly brought off, and they offer, for the susceptible, a couple of squeal-with-delight climaxes. Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long. 2009.

2.0 stars

— Duncan Shepherd

This movie is not currently in theaters.

Comments

Gian Ghio Feb. 21, 2009 @ 10:28 p.m.

One of the rare instances (or exceptions to the rule as we hear in the movie) when the movie was better than the trailer made it out to be. It's always a pleasant surprise when that happens but most of the time you see a trailer and think, "Wow, that looks good," only to find out that you just wasted $20 and 2 hours of your time watching something painfully bad. This movie was shot as part mock-umentary, part love story. You have 5 women and men all interconnected and in different stages of relationships. They experience all the drama, love, and pain that are caused by those relationships and their characters grow to learn things by the film's end. Ladies will like this movie because of the different storylines. Guys will like this movie because of the A list actresses including a hot seductive Scarlett Johansson.

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