Posted by: ianstrope | April 15, 2010

Review: He’s Just Not That Into You

“He’s Just Not That Into You” 2009 director: Ken Kwapis (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and TV) Written by: Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (“Never Been Kissed”, etc.)

 The good thing about being ugly is that you don’t have to worry about the problems of beautiful people. You just need to figure out how to get food and shelter and whatever money you may need to satiate the meager vices of life. But boy howdy do these pretty white people with “relationship woes” just make for great comedy … I suppose. I mean they are in Baltimore in this movie and I keep waiting for Omar or Jimmy “Fuckin” McNulty to pop in for a second but that never happens so … maybe not.

I guess it would be an understatement to say that most RomComs (Romantic Comedies to some) are not my cup of Arizona Iced Tea. That said, human behavior can be funny and the contrivances of the movie are often not important to me when I’m looking for a good laurf … so I ended up seeing this movie.

I guess what could be interesting to me … is how characters behave in a movie like this and what their motivations end up being about. It’s like the people in this movie are living in the utopia that Agent Smith talked about in The Matrix. Things are fine for these people and they decide to be greedy or desperate and sad or whatever works to get them into the next point at which this series of vignettes, arranged around an ensemble of said pretty people interacting and screwing one another over, will do what exactly?

Well … the lesson at the end is that there is no lesson. Some people are doomed to be unhappy and others will luck out, while some are inexplicably devoted as tested by very little in terms of the plot. Wait no, maybe that’s not it (damn I should give this move a few stars for making me think). Okay … so some people cheat and it catches up with them and they lose “happiness” others never change and that works for them and they win back “happiness” and some struggle to find “happiness” and in the end … get it which is great but I guess I don’t get it. Okay fine. I’ll admit that this one is probably just over my head.

This movie does not romanticize love nor does it denigrate it, rather it takes a middle of the road type of cop out by setting up a handful of scenarios that allow for a handful of conclusions such that the audience for these RomComs can have their cake and eat it too. They get the happy ending they want along with the bitter and empowering conclusion that they no doubt also want. I guess this makes the movie a modern romantic comedy because it can be cynical and also sweet (as everybody knows the cynic is the most romantic of them all or something right?)

In the end I prefer more funny with my human interactions and also would like to see some death or something. I mean Whistler almost buys the farm but then he doesn’t and you know Cormac McCarthy certainly wouldn’t approve of that so I guess I shouldn’t either.

Rating: 2 stars out of 5 stars

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