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Published on February 10th, 2009 | by simeon


He’s Just Not That Into You

By Gen Mc Bride

Okay. Try to follow me here.

Meet Gigi, a bright-eyed 20-something who’s navigating her way through the singles scene. Gigi has a date with Conor, a young, up and comer who buys her two drinks and kisses her on the cheek at the end of the date and says he’ll call her. And for some reason, Gigi believes him and thinks he may be “the one.”

So what does a single woman do when she’s found “the one?” Apparently women become obsessive-compulsive creatures who wait by the phone and check their voicemail repeatedly, watch their cell phone like a hawk and hang up on their mothers to keep the line open. She leans on her friends Beth and Janine for moral support when the phone call fails to come through. No call from Conor doesn’t stop Gigi from moving on to stalking Conor’s favorite watering hole. Enter Alex, the owner/bartender of said watering hole who becomes Gigi’s cynical sage, the all-knowing mentor who demystifies the puzzle of the uninterested male.

So why is Conor uninterested in Gigi? Because he still has a thing for Anna, his friend with benefits, although the benefits have been withheld for some time. But Anna’s just met Ben, a married man. The attraction between Anna & Ben is instantly mutual. Yet Ben fights the attraction, all the while trying not to lament his marriage to Janine. (Still following me?) Ben leans on his friend Neil for moral support. Neil’s single, but in his mind he’s as good as married to his longtime girlfriend, Beth, who is trying very hard to understand why they aren’t yet married. Meanwhile, Anna ponders the idea of going after a married man, using her friend Mary as her sounding board even though Mary isn’t exactly an expert on dating since her personal advisors are her gay coworkers.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” is mishmash of funny anecdotes, disturbing stereotypes, acerbic wisdom and heartbreaking circumstances. With a strong, attractive cast and a witty script based on the book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, HJNTIY is an entertaining foray into the minds of 20 & 30-somethings who are trying to make sense of the right and wrong relationships.

In this ensemble, you have Ginnifer Goodwin and Kevin Connolly who play Gigi and Conor with an earnestness, that borders on manic (for Gigi) and with a touch of cute (for Conor). The sexy Anna is played handily by Scarlett Johannson while Bradley Cooper charms as Ben. Jennifer Connelly is the neurotic and suspicious Janine to the seemingly unconcerned Beth, played by Jennifer Anniston. (How did they keep these names straight on set?) Ben Affleck’s lowkey performance makes his Neil a sympathetic character, while Drew Barrymore, for the little screen time she had, was, in turns, endearingly bewildered and resigned. Justin Long makes the most of his screen time infusing Alex with wisdom and harsh compassion to make it one of his more unique portrayals to date.

Maybe because it’s hard to imagine anyone not being that into this good-looking ensemble, the movie had its biggest laughs from the real-people anecdotes interspersed throughout the film. Single moviegoers may find the unflattering representations hit too close to home, while some married viewers may see the same cracks in their mirrors. Still, HJNTIY is an entertaining diversion in which both genders will find something that will make them wince, chuckle or ponder.

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