February 5, 2009

Written by Matt Goldberg

There’s a lot to dislike about “He’s Just Not That Into You”. Beyond the lack of a clear theme, real characters, humor, or warmth, it’s just a missed opportunity. Here was a film that could have lampooned and satirized the romantic comedy with wit and wry detachment and instead it just multiplies the problem. It takes bland, unrealistic romance and then says “Well, we can’t do quality, but we can give you quantity!” Why would I want more of something terrible? Why would anyone want more of something terrible.

Director Ken Kwapis has absolutely no idea what he’s doing with this film. He divides it up into sections, there are brief “man-on-the-street” interviews (done by actors so what’s the point?), and then there are about five inter-linked love stories. There’s no real cohesive idea tying them altogether. One’s about a woman whose boyfriend won’t marry her; another is about a man who’s cheating on his wife, another is about a woman who is clueless about men, another is about a woman who is clueless about men but doesn’t get as much screen time as the first story about the woman who is clueless about men. It’s just a disaster. Furthermore, Kwapis doesn’t understand that these people are supposed to be case studies. So why not take a detached, scientific approach? Maybe a mockumentary style? But Kwapis thinks he has actual characters when all he has are people that are performing actions of an advice book.

So you have this film that’s filled with non-characters, going through predictable motions, and making absolutely no point. Listen to Ginnifer Goodwin at the end of the movie when she tries to sum up the last two hours (that’s right, this film is two hours) and what she says makes absolutely no sense. It’s just words strung together spoken with authority. That’s not wisdom. It’s babbling.

“He’s Just Not That Into You” reminds me of “Love Actually” and while that film was overstuffed and not all the plotlines were worthwhile, some were actually pretty great. There’s really not a single interesting story that resonates with any human emotion in “He’s Just Not That Into You”. A better title would have been “Love Not Really”.

Rating —– D

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