New review from The Movie Snob
He’s Just Not That Into You (D). And let me say up front that there will be some general spoilers in this review–nothing too specific, but enough that you might prefer to skip it.
Anyway, I am not too into chick flicks, and the generally mediocre reviews did not make me particularly want to see this one. (Jennifer Aniston, We’re the Millers, is in it, which is a warning sign right there.) But then I read a review by a fellow named Ross Douthat that piqued my curiosity. He entitled his review “The Way We Live Now,” and he thought the film was interesting for its unusually unflattering look at the “essentially Darwinian” nature of modern dating. Being fairly out of touch with that scene myself, I went to see what he was talking about. The movie’s large cast of well-known actresses and perhaps less well-known actors wheel around each other in various combinations. There’s a married couple, a long-time couple in which the guy “doesn’t believe in marriage,” and a bunch of other folks who want to be in couples but can’t seem to manage it. The protagonist, Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin, Walk the Line), is a perky young thing who is so desperate to get attached that she will basically stalk a guy after a single mediocre date, somehow not realizing that this is the worst possible strategy she could devise. A friendly bartender (Justin Long, Drag Me to Hell) breaks the earth-shattering news to her (repeatedly) that a guy’s bad behavior (or his mere failure to call) should be taken at FACE VALUE. Also, ladies should not place more significance on vague “signs” that a guy is interested than on his open and wanton neglect. Also, do not base your dating strategy on a legend that your cousin’s friend’s college roommate found true love after chasing, or putting up with unmitigated crap from, some guy for umpteen years.
All of this seemed reasonably honest to me. So did a sordid subplot about a tawdry adultery. I may not have liked these people, but I believed what I was seeing. The kick in the teeth came at the end, when the movie abandoned the honest-feeling stuff and started dropping happy endings on us like anvils. Not every character got one, admittedly — a few were left out in the cold. But some characters underwent ridiculous changes of heart to bring about the desired Hollywood endings, and the wrap-ups generally trashed the seemingly solid advice previously dispensed by the affable bartender. Apparently Hollywood suspects that we can stand only so much truth about “the way we live now,” and then we have to be cheered up with happy endings, no matter how phony. The movie chickened out of the hard truths it had worked so hard to establish, and it made me mad. Skip it.