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The West Wing
The Baltimore-set movie of interconnecting story arcs deals with the challenges of reading or misreading human behavior.
I have to admit that this film grew on me. I didn't really get it at first and then I realized what they were trying to pull off and I started to like it.
So He's Just Not That Into You is a lot like that one you end up dating after not liking them at first. It's almost a cliche story where future couples talk about how they didn't like their eventual soul mate, but of course you end of getting together because your initial feelings of them were due to confusion and lack of understanding.
And I was confused at first when watching this film. The first hour is a set up of how girls get insecure because of all the games the guys play and how they (I) don't state our true feelings to them. So the girls end of getting 'confused' by the guy's confusions of what they are feeling. And round and round we go.
But I thought it was us guys who were just the insecure ones and the girls were ALWAYS in the so called power position. So I didn't get any of this stuff at the beginning.
Then at the half way point, He's Just Not That Into You shifts to the guy's insecurities towards woman. It seems that (generally of course) girls hit their emotions right away and are forced to deal with it, while guys take awhile to really realize what they are feeling or just never figure it out at all.
So in the end both men and woman are left feeling the same way. And the thesis of this film is that perhaps just moving onwards no matter what happens it what it's all about. Beginnings sometimes start great (new relationship) or start bad (end of relationship), but as long as you keep going, that's all that matters.
In a film like this, it's the overall theme of the story that needs to carry the film because only one storyline gets about 25 minutes of screen time. It's kind of like lining up dominoes. Each character must run into each other so the dominoes can fall and if just one of them isn't lined up properly then there is a halt -- and in an ensemble film when a halt happens we the audience tune away from the film no matter how proper the other dominoes are lined up.
And of course it's all subjective. Some of us won't like certain storylines for many reasons that have nothing to do with the film at all. Stories could be just too close to their own personal experience, not relatable at all to them, or they just don't like a certain actor.
Ensemble films could be the toughest films to make.
The Jennifer Goodwin and Justin Long story is the best story of the bunch and the filmmakers easily gives this story the most screen time. These are two characters we can't help but love because they are so real. They are flawed people with issues of intimacy, but want to talk their flaws out. Both actors are coming into their own as this seems to be Justin Long's first 'adult' role. And Goodwin is a terrific actress who can now be seen on HBO's TV series Big Love. Her character is easily the heart and soul of the film.
The other relationship stories are not nearly as good. But like I said, it's all subjective. Perhaps I liked that story the most because I related to it the most. Goodwin's character is someone I'm usually attracted to. And Long's character is a lot like me. He's a manager of a bar who likes to study the customers to understand our societal customs. I used to be a grocery store manager and I did exactly the same thing.
Overall, it did want to me to take a look at my past ensemble film favorites: Short Cuts, Love Actually, Magnolia! Three different films but with the same formula for telling a story.
He's Just Not That Into You doesn't compare with those films in my opinion, but it's definitely a great date movie and I'm sure it will do well at the box office.