I Just Wasn’t Into It

11 02 2009

Before reading on, this probably has some spoilers so if you have the uncontrollable urge to see this mediocre film, you may not want to read this post.  This weekend I saw “He’s Just Not That Into You.”  A bunch of ridiculous gender stereotypes, making men look selfish and inconsiderate and women look like tittering boy-crazy idiots are topped off with a completely not plausible ending in which all of the movie’s supposed relationship lessons completely switch.  The female characters in the movie are easily duped by men who just aren’t “into them.”  The single women are left as either blubbering messes or psycho stalkers, misinterpreting all of the men’s cryptic “signs” as interest.  

The main women characters fall into a few roles:  the “desperate internet-surfing one,” the “really really wants to get married one,” the “never sleeps with her husband and therefore is ruining the relationship one,” the “really quite adorable psycho stalker” and “the unabashedly cheating on her boyfriend with a married man one.”  The male characters are “the committed but not committed enough for marriage one,” “the lying, cheating on his wife with the girl from the grocery store one,” “the pathetic has a girlfriend but not really because she never sleeps with him one,” and “the rude dude sexy player who is unable to express his feelings but somehow is still a relationship guru one.” 

In general, most of the characters act irresponsibly or selfishly.  Then, at the very end, the rude dude falls in love and finally learns how to express his feelings (Well, just his interest.  Feelings would be too much.) to the former psycho stalker girl.  Some of the characters switch partners and everyone lives “happily ever after.”  The only character who held his moral position against the institution of marriage gives in and presents his girlfriend with a ring at the end of the film.  And the audience sighs and claps in glee.

The movie is topped off with lots of stereotypical gay men running around distributing relationship advice to heterosexual couples.  The moral of the story:  In heterosexual relationships, if a guy doesn’t call you right away, gives you his number (instead of taking yours), or shows one or more of a laundry list of “signs,” you can basically count him out.  The film’s mantra is that if a man is interested, he will make the relationship happen no matter what.  Advice for men:  if a woman doesn’t sleep with you, she isn’t waiting for the right time or holding out until marriage.  She just isn’t “into you!”  The film suggests that if a man doesn’t exhibit hearty masculine confidence he isn’t “shy”;  this is not a personality characteristic allowed in the masculine and confident modern man.  Oh, but if someone acts awkward and exhibits little self-control, you have probably got them hooked.  The relationship “signs” in the film, though admittedly presented with humor, are rather ridiculous and pretty much inaccurate. 

For gay men, the movie recommends that if your initial eye contact doesn’t last at least three seconds, the other man isn’t interested.   That, however is about all that is said on that issue.  The movie is, after all, about heterosexual young upper-middle-class white (oh, and good looking) couples, and the gay men are really just there for comic purpose.  The bi, lesbian, and trans community is, of course, completely absent.  The film’s characters all seem to have tons of money, but the few work scenes that are shown include either mindless chatter, surfing Myspace, or a love-triangle office sex scene that ends in one woman hiding in a closet (how original!)

I can’t say I’m surprised at the film’s quality.  I knew what I was getting myself into just by reading the title.  And, sadly, it was rather enjoyable at times.   But seeing it in theaters is not worth your ten bucks.  I am disappointed at how many top actors and actresses were involved in this rather mediocre and stereotypical film.  But then again, we live in a society in which racism, sexism, etc. is often invisible until pointed out.  Many of the people who saw the film seemed to enjoy it immensely and completely overlook the underlying messages concealed behind the cheeky wit of the actors’ banter.

Here are some favorite moments from the film:

Scarlet Johannson tells Brad Cooper that he has an ass that makes her want to dry hump.  Brad Cooper is impressed.

Justin Long tells Ginnifer Goodwin that he likes her, but follows it up with “don’t go doodling my name on your binder. I like you like a Basset hound because you’re kinda pathetic.”

Ginnifer tries to make a move on Justin.  He recoils and shouts “If a guy wants to date you, he will make it happen. Did I ask you out? Why do women do this? It’s insane!”

“Ooooh giiirrrl,” says a gay Asian man.

The gay men at the party assert that “gay signals are totally different from straight signals.”




2 responses

11 02 2009

I, too, was disappointed with paying for the movie. I thought maybe because of the name (and the book) that it would not be your stereotypical “chick flick.”

One thing that resonates with me is that Ginnifer didn’t show ANY interest in him until she realizes “OMIGOSH! HE LIKES ME!!” and THEN she makes a move. It was like all she needed was a man to be interested in her.

12 02 2009

i haven’t seen the movie but maybe ill catch it on cable soon, and chat with you on what i think 😉

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