It started as a simple line from a random episode of Sex and the City. It later became the title of a highly successful book by those same Sex and the City writers, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. Now He’s Just Not That Into You has been made into a film. The book basically became a self-help love and dating manual for women everyone. Knowing that women love movies that are often classified as romantic comedies, you would think that a film based on this book would be a huge box office success. Especially when you see that it stars nine actors you will immediately recognize.
The film, He’s Just Not That Into you, opens with the desperate and needy heroine Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) on a blind date with up-and-coming real estate agent Conor (Kevin Connolly). Things seem to go well, but when he doesnt call, she worries and obsesses with her work colleagues, Beth (Jennifer Aniston) and Janine (Jennifer Connelly). She even stalks Conor at his favorite bar, which is managed by Alex (Justin Long). Alex gives Gigi common-sense advice from a male perspective and tells her to move on to someone else. Then you have Ben (Bradley Cooper), who cheats on his controlling wife with the ultra-hot Anna (Scarlett Johansson), after they meet at a supermarket checkout; and Neil (Ben Affleck) who has been living with Beth (Jennifer Aniston) for seven years. Neil doesn’t want to marry Beth, though, so she engineers a split-up. Drew Barrymore as Mary, the advertising manager of a gay magazine, is also thrown in there for good measure.
This film is filled with stars. Usually that is risky since there is only so much screen time to be had in a two hour movie. For the most part, though, everyone gets their equal share of time. That is good and bad, because some of the storylines and characters are not as strong as others. Thankfully, the central focus of the film is on Ginnifer Goodwin’s character, Gigi. Out of all of the actors in the film, Goodwin is one of the least recognizable, but there is no doubt that she becomes THE star of this film. She gives a breakthrough performance here. But overall the entire cast does a great job. They all have great chemistry together on screen, and everyone appears to be trying their hardest.
On the flip side, there is no doubt that when you load a film with stars you are covering up something. That something is average writing at best. The movie is broken up into chapters taken straight from the book like “If Hes Not Calling You,” “If Hes Not Marrying You,” and “If Hes Sleeping with Someone Else,” etc. The book doesn’t really focus on one or two relationship issues, and neither does the film, which is the first problem. But the biggest problem is that most of the storylines in this film are based on apparently ancient gender roles. You know the ones like “all men fear commitment”, “all women want commitment”, “all women blame themselves for their relationship issues”, among others. Really everything here is pretty cliched and predictable. It doesn’t help that there is not enough comedy to really make this a traditional romantic comedy.
Hopefully, though, He’s Just Not That Into You will open eyes for women out there that might have felt like any of the female characters in this film. That’s really the strong point of this film. Almost everyone can relate to something going on in this film. It’s also somewhat interesting to see how everyone is connected, even though that really makes the ending seem more like a plot necessity than anything else. The cast also at least gives it their all. It’s too bad that are given nothing really fresh to work with. It’s an average romance movie at best, and on the wifey scale it gets an 8. That means it’s not The Notebook or anything, but He’s Just Not That Into You will certainly be a hit with women everywhere.
The video is presented in 1080p/AVC at the 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen color ratio, which is enhanced for 16:9 TVs of course. This transfer is great. The colors on screen are true to the source material. Everything looks crisp and clean as well, but only a slight improvement over the standard definition DVD.
The audio included is available in either English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround sound or English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English and Spanish as well. The dialogue and music come out loud and clear.
“Baltimore Blade: The Relationship Issue” Feature –
This is an “interactive issue” of the magazine that Drew Barrymore’s character, Mary, works at in the film. Viewers can click through and watch six two-to-five minute compilations of interviews with the characters (as seen in the end credits). This is a mixture of clips and stills from the film. If you can overlook the fact that the Baltimore Blade is a gay paper, this is fairly interesting to watch.
“Six Words That Make Up A Film” Featurette –
This run 11 minutes and it traces how a line of dialogue become a book that became a movie, etc. Basically, a big interview with co-author of the book, Greg Behrendt. Still a nice overview of how this came to be.
“The Director Stages a Scene: Duet For Telephones” Featurette –
This runs 4 minutes and it features Kwapis discussing how he had to build the Goodwin/Long relationship in a series of phone call scenes, after which he breaks one down shot-by-shot. Pretty insightful.
Found on the DVD As Well…
Deleted Scenes –
There are 5 total scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the film and they total 14 minutes. There is a option to list to commentary by director Ken Kwapis as he tells us why these scenes were cut from the movie. But nothing really worth checking out.
The acting is great and fans fans of romantic comedies will be entertained by He’s Just Not That Into You. In terms of extras, the Blu-ray has three extras not included with the DVD release that are pretty good. The video and audio quality are only slightly improved, however. Still, the BD is the superior option that fans will love.
New Line Home Entertainment presents He’s Just Not That Into You. Directed by Ken Kwapis. Starring Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Justin Long, Kevin Connolly, and Bradley Cooper. Written by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (screenplay); Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (book). Running time: 129 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released on DVD: June 2, 2009. Available at Amazon.com