Synopsis: An all-star cast including relationship gurus like Jennifer Aniston goes through a series of romantic misadventures, which is code for “soul-crushing events that seem more likely to happen to you now that you’ve seen this movie and therefore whatever hopes you had about love or relationships are destroyed because now you know that he/she’s just not that into you! You fail at life.” Also, it takes place in Baltimore. Did you seriously expect a happy movie?
Recommended for: People who have lost all hope in humanity and find some perverse pleasure in having their souls destroyed by a Trojan Horse of a romantic comedy. Believe me, this is not a movie that you watch for a happy ending. If you know what happens in the movie yet you still watch it, you must really want to hurt yourself. Also for people who want to relate who’ve gone through some traumatic relationship experience and want to see someone in a similar situation, well, the movie has basically every worst-case scenario you could possibly hope for, so you will have no problem finding your own scarring experience to wallow in. But if you really want to watch a movie with your soul intact, I really wouldn’t recommend this movie. Believe me, it will destroy your soul.
Review: For a movie based on a self-help book, you’d expect He’s Just Not That Into You to be a little more hopeful. Then again, I guess it was my mistake to expect anything hopeful from a title that hits you over the head with the cold hard truth and suggest that you to give up on your romantic pursuits. But I decided to watch it, hoping that despite the depressing message, it may be of some comedic value.
Well, let’s just say that if there were any moments for laughs, they were lost in the countless moments of wincing, flinching, and outright heartbreaks that were spread generously throughout the movie. The only vaguely funny storyline involved the central character, Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), an idealistic young woman who has absolutely no respect or knowledge for the conventional rules of dating. Yeah, that might seem silly, but some of us didn’t get the memo about such rules, so we might not know how to act, okay? There is something charming about her storyline despite its many disappointments (partly because I feel that I am as romantically challenged if not more so than her), and you should really feel happy for her when she finally gets with the Mac guy. However, it’s all just really generic romcom material in that storyline, so I didn’t feel much in the end.
The other storylines are extremely well written: they feel like they are made specifically to hit the most painful memories one has regarding romance, as close to home as possible. The least painful one is the one between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Aniston. They are a couple that has been dating for seven years, but Ben Affleck’s character doesn’t want to get married, because he’s happy with them the way they are. So she breaks up with him. But it’s not painful, because they get married in the end. On the flipside, there is Scarlett Johansson and the real estate guy (Kevin Connolly). Real estate guy (let’s call him RSG) is deeply in love with Scarlett, but she’s just not that into him (I’d laugh at the cliché, but it hurts too much). My least favorite scene was when RSG showed Scarlett a house that was just like the one she grew up in, and told her about his plans for them. This is what every girl dreams of apparently, but RSG realizes that she doesn’t want it with him. That moment was just…yeah. My soul was destroyed at that very moment. There are other storylines, including a loveless marriage and subsequent affair and the evolution of dating through new technology, but seriously, all of them hurt a lot. Some more than others, it really depends on your personal experiences. Poor RSG.
Overall, the movie is a spiteful movie, designed to make the viewers feel as bad about themselves as they possibly could by bringing up memories that they thought they were over, then forcing them to relive these memories through the characters in the movie. There is no possible way that you could watch this movie all the way through and not feel even the smallest bit uncomfortable, not unless you’ve never ever had any romantic experiences. I felt terrible after watching the movie, and really didn’t feel like I could be happy ever again. Just don’t watch it. And if you do, I warned you.
Alternative movies if you are looking for:
A romantic comedy: Anything. Seriously, there are like a gazillion Drew Barrymore romantic comedies out there, and if you happen to pick this one to watch, you are definitely out of luck. Since a romantic comedy really depends on personal preference, I can’t really give you a recommendation, but seriously, any romantic comedy is funnier and more romantic than this one. Heck, most movies are funnier and more romantic than this movie. I genuinely believe I laughed more while watching the Passion of the Christ, and that is not a funny movie. It certainly is not. But if you really want my opinion on the matter, I would suggest Moulin Rouge. It’s heartbreaking, but in a hurts-so-good kind of way.
A romantic comedy with multiple plotlines: If you’re looking for multiple plotlines that seem somewhat relevant to each other but not really, I’m guessing you don’t really care that much about plot anyways. So if you don’t really care about whether the guy gets the girl but you really want all that saccharine goodness in between the opening credits and the end, you should watch Love Actually. Almost everybody loves it, despite the questionable morality of some of the storylines. Then again, compared to this movie, most movies have the innocence of Sesame Street before it went political (Cookie Monster not eating cookies? Seriously?).
Relationship help: If you’re looking for relationship advice from a movie, well, I would say that you really need to look for better sources of emotional consolation. Like television! Yes, if you really want some quality help on making that relationship work or figuring out why that relationship imploded on you, there’s no better help than watching the lives of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte, four sassy, independent New York women living the dream in Sex and the City! Not that I would know anything about that series, but you know, I hear it’s helpful. Oh so helpful…
A movie that will prove that you’re the exception, not the rule: Well, I’m not sure if I know any movies like that, but if I did, I’d feel a lot better right now. Instead, I recommend that you watch a French romantic film, like L’Appartement. You’ll feel better, cause at least you’re not French.
A movie that will tell you to give it up already, but not in a soul-crippling manner: The Break-Up (starring Jennifer Aniston!). You’d think that a movie about a couple breaking up would be as exciting as a movie about a real-life attempt to assassinate Hitler, but like that movie, it’s actually worth watching. Plus it doesn’t do that silly Hollywood nonsense where the couple gets back together in the end (at least, I’m told that it’s silly nonsense. Michael Scott of Dunder Mifflin would disagree. So would I) and they actually break up! Whoops, spoiler alert. But seriously, it’s a great movie. I was surprised.