By Kaitlin MacRae
As little girls grow up and dismiss the notion that boys have cooties, they try to decipher those subtle yet confusing messages males send out, obsessing over them until they realize: “if he’s not calling you, if he’s not marrying you, if he’s not sleeping with you, he’s just not that into you.”
He’s Just Not That Into You tells the stories of several interconnected characters. It boasts an all-star cast, but the central story revolves around Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin, Big Love), a woefully desperate woman trying to meet the perfect man.
After a seemingly successful date with Conor (Kevin Connelly, Entourage), Gigi becomes mildly obsessed with the fact that he has yet to ask her out again. She waits by the phone and casually shows up at places he frequents. When she meets Alex (Justin Long, Accepted), an honest friend of Conor’s, she learns the harsh truth: Conor just isn’t interested. Rather, he has his sights set on Anna (Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation), a friend-with-benefits who continually toys with him simply because she knows she can.
Ben (Bradley Cooper, Wedding Crashers) loves his wife, Janine (Jennifer Connelly, Hulk), but can’t resist the temptation Anna poses after they meet. Though Ben doesn’t actively seek a hook-up with Anna, the role isn’t much of a stretch for Cooper. His typical parts, like in Wedding Crashers, have him playing a cheating liar who ultimately winds up alone.
The same can be said for Johannsson, who has played a sort of temptress in the past. Her use of Conor as her fair-weather boyfriend, in addition to her affair with Ben, make her easily unlikeable.
The more interesting story lies with Beth and Neil (Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck), a couple who has been together for seven years and aren’t married. Beth, wanting a proposal, breaks up with Neil in hopes of sparking his interest in marriage. After her father has a heart attack, Beth and Neil reconnect, and Beth realizes that life without Neil isn’t a life at all. Neil is a great guy, and Affleck’s easy-going disposition and charm add to his character.
Aniston does a good job as well, but her character could be compared to her very public personal life and sometimes turbulent past relationships.
As a whole, the film would be more cohesive if it focused more on the budding relationship between Gigi and Alex. The subplots between the other characters often interfere with and overshadow each other, and it is sometimes difficult to grasp the happenings of each couple.
He’s Just Not That Into You wins with audiences mainly because it is relatable. Viewers might find themselves in the characters, comparing their own love lives to those in the film. However, it really has no climax or resolutions in several cases and is generally lackluster. As a result, viewers may just not be that into it.