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He’s Just Not That Into You…Marriage Neither.

February 13, 2009

 

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Ahh yes, yet another movie about the woes of dating and the never ending search for the confirmation of signs and signals.  What does it mean when he does this?  What does it mean when she doesn’t do that?  I know he’s wearing a wedding band but he’s going to leave me for his wife, right?  You see where I’m going with this.  Insert your own body-language related inquiries here.

If you’re  single, married, or somewhere in between He’s Just Not That Into You promises to resonate with anyone familiar with the dating scene in the age of Facebook and all communication electronic.   While I wasn’t exactly blown away by the story the sexy cast of characters was enough to keep me involved in their lives. 

At the center is Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), a twenty something career gal who suggests that girls are and have always been socialized to embark on a lifelong quest for Mr. Right.  As such, the story is mostly weaved from a Gigi-point-of-view where women second-guess themselves,  pondering if a guy can be Mr. Right after the first date and, of course, what it means if he doesn’t call after that first date.  Gigi, the hopeless romantic, is clearly the comic relief and through her series of desperate and quirky encounters with the opposite sex her storyline will surely give you something to chat about in the dark .

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As for the XY chromosome side of the tale, the guys- who share fewer bonding scenes than their female counterparts- ponder questions about commitment and what it takes to stay in a relationship.  This perspective centers around Ben (Bradley Cooper), a married thirty something who seeks to answer the age-old question if men and women can be friends without the benefits.   Unfortunate for him, his “friend” is the uber sultry and sweet Anna (Scarlett Johansson).  Judging from the audience’s reaction to Ben and Anna’s will-they-or-wont-they scenes I gather that married men all over the world are questioning their fidelity if they ever got Johansson alone in an office.

As each character navigates the seas of romance the moral is that there are no hard and fast rules to dating, no sure fire signs of ones intentions, and that being alone does not necessarily equate loneliness.  While the cut away documentary-like testimonials of love gone awry are humourous, to walk into the theatre with the expectation of HJNTIY being a litmus test of sorts for the perfect relationship (and I know you’re out there) is a fallacy.  Viewers will identify will some characters more than others and derive their own opinions. 

Which leads me back to my title post.  I left the theatre slightly unsettled at the implication that all men fear marriage and only agree to do it at the suggestion of their wives-to-be.  This conflict is mirrored in Neil  (Ben Affleck) as he struggles to commit to marriage after dating Beth (Jennifer Aniston) for seven years.  Similarly, Ben implies that marrying  his college sweetheart Janine (Jennifer Connelly), was at her request.  Glad it’s just a movie.

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One comment

  1. Hi Movie Shrink,
    I agree with you that there was definitely a strong perspective given about the men who fear committment and marriage in this movie. However, you did not mention Conor (Kevin Connolly) who very much wanted to settle down and get married. Also, although Neil (Ben Affleck) and Alex (Justin Long) initially were not interested in marriage and committment, they eventually changed their minds, without the coercion of women I might add. I think the movie is a very real glimpse of what women face in the dating world. And, it is skewed to show the He’s Just Not That Into You Perspective rather than the He’s Very Into You Perspective, so it makes sense that it did not provide as strong a perspective about the men who crave committment and marriage. Thanks for a thought provoking and interesting review. I look forward to your future reviews!

    Movie Goer



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