Tuesday, December 27, 2016

REVIEW: He's Just Not That Into You (live action movie)

He's Just Not That Into You is a romantic comedy based on a self-help book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

Review:

This movie is entirely about the character relationships, and I kind of feel like it would best be described with a diagram. Lacking that, I’ll try a list.
  • Gigi: A single woman who is desperately waiting for her latest date to call her back, not because she particularly likes him, but rather because she wants to not be single.
  • Alex: A bar owner who takes pity on Gigi and gives her advice that mostly boils down to “that guy isn’t interested, so stop throwing yourself at him.”
  • Janine: Gigi’s coworker and friend. She’s married to Ben.
  • Ben: Years ago, Janine gave him an ultimatum: either he needed to marry her or she’d leave. So he married her. He begins to falter after he meets Anna, a flirtatious singer.
  • Anna: Anna’s friend Mary tells her a story about a friend of her sister’s (or something) who met a guy who fell in love with her even though he was already married. The guy left his wife and he lived happily ever after with this new woman. So Anna takes a chance and calls up Ben, even though he already told her that he’s married and doesn’t want to cheat on his wife.
  • Conor: Anna’s sorta-boyfriend. “Sorta,” because he sees the two of them as a couple while she sees him as more of a platonic friend she once had sex with. Conor is the guy Gigi went on a date with and who she’d hoped would call (he never had any plans to call).
  • Mary: Anna’s friend. She only ever seems to connect with guys online, and then they either refuse to actually talk to her or meet with her in person, or they turn out to be players.
  • Beth: Gigi and Janine’s coworker. She’s been with her boyfriend Neil for 7 years. Although they’re living together, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Neil has no plans to ever propose, and Beth has had enough.
  • Neil: Beth’s boyfriend and Ben’s friend.
Wow, this movie was unpleasant. I’m pretty sure it was a gift from my sister. A few years ago she asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I said “movies, romantic comedies.” I’m appalled that, according to Wikipedia and IMDb, this really is supposed to be a romantic comedy. It took a lot of willpower to finish watching it, and even then I had to fast forward through a couple parts because I just couldn’t stand to watch the characters anymore.

I hated most of the cast only 15 or 20 minutes in. Although Ben acted like he wanted to stay faithful to his wife, there were signs right from the start that that wasn’t entirely true. Gigi was painfully and pathetically clingy - I couldn’t understand why Alex didn’t tell her to stop calling him. I hated Mary for encouraging Anna to hook up with a married guy, and I hated Anna for going along with the idea so easily. And if Conor was so caught up in Anna, why bother going on a date with Gigi?

I spent much of the movie hoping that everyone would end up single and afraid that instead everyone would be paired off with different people. Surprisingly, a few people did end up single. Just not as many as I’d have liked. I wasn’t 100% convinced that all the final pairings were a good idea. Pretty much the only couple I was completely on board with was Beth and Neil.

I don’t know that I’d call this a romantic comedy. It wasn’t particularly funny, and much of it was aggressively anti-romantic. I could see that I was supposed to be cheering for Alex and Gigi to end up together - Gigi even pointed out the similarities between the two of them and her favorite romantic movie characters - but it was like watching a trainwreck, and Alex’s change of heart felt forced. The entire situation with Anna, Ben, and Janine was just awful. And while Beth and Neil had the most solid relationship, and I appreciated that he showed up and helped out when she was going through a rough time, I didn’t really feel connected to them. This movie was stuffed too full of characters.

All in all, if I had offloaded this without ever having watched it, I wouldn’t have missed out on much. I will agree, however, with the bit at the beginning: it’s awful to tell little girls that boys who are mean to them are only being mean because they like them. Those boys are actually just jerks, full stop.

Extras:

Several deleted scenes, which I did not bother to watch.

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