Thank you to all the past presidents of the United States of America for allowing me to have Monday off, and go see the movie I have been anxiously awaiting for almost a year! "He's Just Not That Into You" has an all star cast, and is based on the hilarious, and painfully true self-help book of the same title, written by Greg Behrendt (a former writer for Sex and the City) and Liz Tuccillo.
I was first introduced to the book my junior year of college (2004). My very good friend would frequently read me excerpts from the book after I had just told her a story about the guy I liked who was treating me like crap. I think she felt the readings would jolt me into a sense of empowerment and self respect. No such luck, but the book is undeniably hysterical.
When I first read over a year ago that Drew Barrymore's production company had bought the rights to the book, I already had a good feeling. Then each week the celeb gossip mags would report more and more "A" list people signing on for the film, and I grew more and more giddy and eager to see the final product!
For me, the star of this movie is Ginnifer Goodwin. Her character, GiGi (perhaps an homage to her real life initials?) finds herself in complete and total obsession with every new guy who so much as winks at her in a bar. She literally sits by her pink, bubble gum phone willing it to ring. She opens her cell phone to check for service every 10 seconds. She even looks down at her phone during each yoga pose in case she misses a call or a text.
After an unsuccessful date with Connor, played by Kevin Connelly (who is still too short for me to have even a slight attraction to him), GiGi meets Connor's best friend Alex. Alex gives it to her straight - "GiGi, if he's not calling you, he's just not that into you". Ouch. I know, GiGi. Its hard to hear the first time. Or fifteen times.
After getting over the shock of his commentary, GiGi actually begins to regard Alex as her dating guru and calls him every time she finds herself in an ambiguous situation. Alex, played by Justin Long, actually looks hot at some points in this movie! Who would have thought the guy from the Mac vs. PC commercials could be sexy?
Sure enough, GiGi finds herself attracted to who? Alex, but of course! And she begins to obsess about him, including a scene where she believes she is co-hosting his house party with him, and she stays until 3am cleaning up, while he plays video games with a super model, who just so happens to love NBA on Nintendo. Yeah, sure.
At first Alex is turned off by GiGi's advances and gives her a harsh reality check. Only to soon realize he likes her too! In the end, the two wind up together. I'll return to comment on this resolution later.
My second favorite story line was that of Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck. In the movie they play a couple who has been together 7 years, lives together, but isn't married. Jen wants to get married, Ben thinks the institution of marriage is meaningless. Always a good combo.
When Jen finds out her younger sister is getting married, she gives Ben an ultimatum - marry me, or get out. Standing his ground, Ben moves out and onto his boat. I am not sure what happened to Ben Affleck since he last movie, but the man is SMOKIN HOT. It caught me off guard! And scruffy, on the boat, on the open sea, it was just too much! Hotness overload!
Then, just when I thought he couldn't get any hotter, Jen's father has a heart attack, and despite their break up, he shows up at the family home to help wash dishes, do laundry and run errands. I melted. A puddle on the floor.
In the end, Jen realizes her love for Ben, invites him to move back in, and sure he enough, he does a complete 180, changes his core beliefs, and proposes. I will return to comment on this later. Are you seeing a pattern?
Other stand out performances in the movie came from Bradley Cooper and Scarlett Johansson. First of all, let me say, Bradley Cooper - WHOA. I don't know how I never noticed this before, but the man is HOT. In this movie in particular he is tan and toned, and so incredibly yummy! He plays a husband with a wandering eye, that wonders right over to Scarlett Johansson. Who, and I don't know how I never noticed this before, is ridiculously hot! The combination of the perfect, wavy, blond locks, with the sea green eyes, the tiny body and the huge boobs! No wonder men fall all over her! The dynamic between Bradley and Scarlett was incredible. Palpably electric.
As a whole, the movie is very true to life, and highlights the way women enable each other to rationalize poor behavior. It demonstrates how we twist words and actions into anything positive, so we don't have to admit that, well, he's just not that into me.
The movie has some great moments, especially the opening scene, where an little girl gets picked on at the playground by a boy she likes, and her mother says "Oh sweetie, that boy likes you! That's why he was so mean." And it begins.
I found GiGi's character the most compelling. We laughed with her, cried with her and hid our heads in shame with her. We rooted for Jennifer Aniston and practically wept when Ben returned to her life. We watched in shock and intrigue as Scarlett and Bradley had a steamy affair, and Bradley's poor wife was left at home in their brand new house to pace and wait for him. I would have given the movie a rave review, except for one tiny detail . . .
The book is all about how sometimes, a guy just isn't that into you, and you have to pick yourself up and carry on. BUT, the two main characters, the two characters MOST tortured by the men in their life, did get a happy ending! What kind of mixed message is that? He's just not that into you, until he suddenly is?