Film review: He’s just not that into you

2009-02-15 00:00

Contrary to the reassurance from your mother that the little boy in your class who calls you names, pulls on your pigtails and makes you cry, is only doing it because he likes you, the message you get from He’s Just Not That Into You is:

When you are floating on cloud nine one minute and then staring at your phone every second of every day for the next week, waiting for that call that just isn’t coming through, the rule is that the object of your affection just doesn’t like you as much as you think you like them.

Seems obvious enough? But when you are in that murky pool, desperate for romance, and aware of your biological clock, the jerk is painted a pretty shade of pink and you become the stalking psycho who loses all self-respect and dignity.

Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), a young women who has never been able to measure the interest of any of her dates and consequently falls prey to agonising over the process of rejection, is the centre of this tale of interconnected relationship stories of people who are married, dating, having affairs and enjoying the shallow flirtation of one-night stands and the destructive effects of trying to “let the other person down gently” with a brush-off.

He’s Just Not That Into You is hysterically funny and hard hitting because of the relevance it has to “real life”.

Based on the self-help book of the same name by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccilo, it offers dating and relationship advice, which works best on an audience who have experienced rejection in some way, by telling the stories of a group of interconnected 20 and 30-somethings who journey from the rosy patch of dating life to the forested maze of married life.

Cleverly directed by Ken Kwapis with an aesthetically pleasing cast — Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, and Bradley Cooper — this movie is best seen with a group of girlfriends or a significant other.

It is like a dating workshop or therapy session for couples and singles who misinterpret the signs.

And it is cleverly constructed to point out that in the world of dating you are the rule until you become the exception — that is, if a man is that interested, he will track you down even if you are visiting Timbuktu, so don’t put your life on hold waiting for him to call and convincing yourself that he is the one … if he really is, you wouldn’t be in agony.

If the partner that you are living with or married to can lie to you about something as little as not smoking when they really are, you have to ask yourself what more are they hiding from you?

If a man hasn’t proposed after living with you for seven years, he is never going to unless you are the exception to the rule or are okay with never walking down the aisle.

It really is a movie that highlights the importance of communication, analysing the signs and being critically honest about your feelings, needs and desires.

The sooner one realises that, the sooner one finds and becomes “the exception”.

***

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