February 08, 2009

"He's Just Not That Into You" - The Dissenting Review - UPDATED With Guy Reasserter Commentary!

OK, so I happen to get dragged to a Friday matinee "chick flick" as an early Valentine to the Mrs. and guess what? I actually like it.

Now "Rotten Tomatoes" gives it a collective 44% fresh from its aggregated reviews. And John Nolte (aka "Dirty Harry") at Big Hollywood isn't impressed either. Sure it's not a classic romantic comedy in any respect, but it wasn't preachy, it wasn't sappy and it wasn't all that unrealistic. In fact, despite Nolte's lament that the film seems to portray women as "doormats" I think we should keep in mind that this is kind of the point of the story: real women often put up with unbelievable crap from men because they invent endless rationalizations that it's because either they are at fault or that they're reading the signals wrong.

It's sad, but it's true (and it happens to men sometimes too).

Continue with minor spoilers below the fold.

Like the perennial Christmas movie that I am forced to endure every yuletide, "Love, Actually", "He's Just Not That Into You" follows several stories of women (who are peripherally connected) as they fall into the all-too-familiar traps of fooling themselves into believing things that are not so.

There's the young, hot woman who falls for a married man and is convinced he'll leave his wife for her. The wife whose husband cheats and is convinced that she drove him to it. The gal who lives with a guy forever and never comes around to popping the question (and never will). And there's the serial dater who is always open to the idea that the next man she's set up with will be "the one" (as opposed to "The One", who is our current President).

The stories have each of these women confront the reality that the excuses they make for men (which their friends are often complicit with) are just that. The men aren't portrayed as horrible. Thoughtless, careless and insensitive at times but very human. And often they redeem themselves (though you can probably guess that the cheating married guy situation doesn't end well - they almost never do).

And just when they story gets you comfortable with a storyline that confirms the cynicism that makes these women appear to be fools, it suckers you into realizing that holding back, playing it safe and not taking any risk usually leads you ending up sad and alone. Of course, you can easily end up that way by putting yourself out there, too. But it's almost guaranteed when you don't.

Unlike a lot of the reviewers, I did find it funny. And most of all I found it to be an entertaining experience that I could share with my own Valentine.

So here's a dissenting point of view for those of you guys who may be thinking of avoiding this one like the plague: don't. Follow the films theme and take a chance. I think a lot of you will be pleasantly surprised.

Just my humble opinion from a fairly typical guy (if there is such a thing).

"Scotty! We Need Warp Power Testosterone In Thirty Seconds Or We're All Dead" Yips! From Robbo: This weekend the Missus asked me if I'd like to watch a DVD of "P.S. I Love You" with her. I scoffed.

Posted by Gary at February 8, 2009 12:47 PM | TrackBack

Jennifer Connelly did a great job in this movie; the plot solid overall too IMO -- I personally was not surprising that He's Not That into You is based on a novel

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Gee, what's next? A post on the joys of scrapbooking with your mate? Consideration for the "HeMan's Wimmen Haters Club" has been withdrawn.

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