He’s Just Not That Into You

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Posted February 5, 2009 in Film

There are the Exceptions and the Rules, explains Ken Kwapis’ adaption of Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s best-selling snark. The Exceptions are the ladies whose boyfriends finally propose after 12 years of dating. The Rules are the 99% of other lovelorn women who cling to these anecdotes to keep from drowning themselves in Zinfandel. Kwapis assembles a cast of stars—this is the Grand Hotel of romantic comedies—but though such definitive personalities as Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, and Justin Long try their luck at love, the flick neatly groups them into Men versus Women, with Long’s jaded bartender (the foreteller of who’s into and who isn’t) breezily referring to all members of the opposite gender as “They.” Until the ending’s forced good cheer, this is a study of apathy, not love; if Goodwin’s stalkerish Gigi is heavy petting on the couch, it’s a sure bet said petter couldn’t care less. This is the rare romantic comedy that cops to the fact that most of the couples making out right now are hoping for a better option. The price of cynicism is unlikeable characters, redeemed a sliver by the acknowledgement that most of us, too, have been right bastards to people who adored us. And overstuffing the cast has a cost-benefit balance of so many thin plot arcs that at least one will bruise a past injury. As a date movie, it’s as toxic as Chernobyl. (Amy Nicholson)

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