There were no big surprises (especially given Jezebel’s liveblog last week), but it wasn’t as bad as I expected it be. Judged solely on its merits as a romantic comedy, it was even amusing and enjoyable.
I’m still with Dodai on this bit, though:
“How can you trash a movie you haven’t even seen?” someone asked. I explained that I was insulted by the premise, and the trailer.
Not to mention the very notion that women need self-help books, but men should just go ahead behaving as usual. Then there’s the idea that all of these big-name stars would glom on to a film in which women are portrayed as idiots.
And for my part, here are the radio talking points I jotted down when I got home last night:
- You’ve got to laugh, because a lot of the situations in the film are relatable - and as I wrote in my article, it’s true that a lot of people do feel and act like the characters in He’s Just Not That Into You. But I also think it’s important to ask why people behave that way.
And while I think what a lot of women found appealing about the book was that it freed them from wasting their time worrying and analysing if a guy wasn’t calling them or asking them out or doing whatever they wanted him to do - because it just meant he didn’t like them - I also think the reverse is true. That the book plays to and exacerbates these worries, so that if whoever he is doesn’t call say, the day after you meet, you start to worry ”oh my god! is he just not that into me?” when in fact it’s quite normal not to be into someone you’ve just met.
And the ironic thing is that it’s these very anxieties that actually turn relationships bad and make men - and women - not into each other.
- What I thought was interesting about the film was that it actually went against a lot of the things book says: for instance, if he’s not marrying you he’s just not that into you, if he’s not asking you out, he’s just not that into you - in the film, both of these points are proved (well, as much as a romantic comedy can prove anything) to be untrue.
Jennifer Aniston, who’s in the film, did an interview with Jay Leno the other day, where she was asked about some of these philosophies, and she said much the same thing: that sometimes, guys do get shy about asking women out, that you don’t need to call someone right away to prove “into”-ness. And I know Jennifer Aniston is kind of the poster-girl for He’s Just Not That Into You, given Brangelina and all, but based on interviews etc, the woman does seem to have a pretty rational attitude when it comes to these things.
- Really, the worst thing about the film, and what ultimately makes it disposible, is the title. Something along the lines of Relationships are Complicated and Sometimes They Go Pear-Shaped But Sometimes They Work Out Too, and You Can Be Happy Either Way would probably reflect the plot better, but of course, that wouldn’t sell tickets like He’s Just Not That Into You.