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My girlfriend and I, both at or approaching our 50's, saw this in a
theater that was absolutely filled with high school girls. That
surprised me actually, given that most of the stars in this film are
well-beyond high-school age. But they, like the rest of the audience,
seemed to really enjoy this film, as did we. The relationships were
nicely intertwined without being contrived ("Crash" anyone?), and
unlike the similar movie "Love Actually," nothing portrayed was too
outlandish. The convention of adding comments by "real" people to
introduce story lines was well done and amusing. If I find any fault
with the film, it's that all of the guys are presented as having
relationship "issues" or as being total bone-heads. Hopefully there are
more "nice guys" interspersed in society than what this film might lead
you to believe (though I must say that the attitudes presented are
definitely not inaccurate).
Overall, a very nice film whose 2 hour plus running time goes by rather quickly. If you've ever been in or tried to be in a relationship, you'll probably enjoy this movie.
A limp ensemble relationship movie that feels like the frustrated
venting of a bitter single girl after a blind date gone badly awry.
This is the kind of movie where a bunch of 20 and 30-somethings own beautiful loft apartments they couldn't possibly afford and struggle with relationship issues that are just boring to watch other people grapple with if you yourself are over the age of 30. Once again we're expected to accept Jennifer Aniston as a sad sack who can't get a date after she dumps the long-time boyfriend (Ben Affleck, playing not so much a character as a woman's fantasy made real) who won't commit to marriage. Ginnifer Goodwin is the doormat who can't figure out why guys won't call her even though they say they will. Justin Long is terribly miscast as a womanizer who doesn't know when he's fallen in love himself (I can't look at him without seeing the image of his dork from "Dodgeball" getting hit in the face with a wrench, which is not far from what I wanted to do to his character in this movie). Jennifer Connelly and Bradley Cooper are the lone married couple in the film, and because this is a Hollywood movie about relationships, of course the married couple MUST be miserable. Scarlett Johanssen is a bombshell with giant knockers that I couldn't take my eyes off of; Drew Barrymore might as well not be in the movie, and only is because a.) she co-produced it and b.) the filmmakers needed a forum in which to introduce a bunch of stock gay characters. You want to throttle pretty much everyone by the time the movie's over; I settled for thanking God I didn't have to be friends with any of them.
Though the film was only written by two people, it has the feeling of something written by committee. Characters aren't consistent or believable; those played by Goodwin and Connelly more often than not come across as mentally ill. In the world of this film, there are only two kinds of marriages: the ones that end in adultery and bitterness, or the ones that end in a ridiculously romanticized version of happily-ever-after. No wonder so many people have trouble making marriages work if they're using films like this as examples.
What a dud, and probably solid evidence that movies shouldn't be adapted from smug and jokey self-help books written by jackass talk show hosts.
The film starts with a little girl in a playground getting bullied by a
boy, and her mother telling her that this means that the boy likes her,
setting up the premise that the more a guy treats a woman like dirt,
the more she'll hang around on the phone waiting for his call. From
this point we follow the relationship woes of six (no eight, nine, is
it ten?) different people and their relationships ups and downs, as one
guy is trapped in a loveless marriage, one couple realise they want
different things and one woman who is trying to figure out how to play
the dating game, the stories cross and intertwine and from this comical
Now, from the tone of the last part of that sentence you may well have come to the conclusion that this is just another standard romantic comedy chick-flick, and, on paper, it should be. But it's not. The script is very similar in tone and feel to "When Harry met Sally" with "supposed" regular people introducing each chapter of the film, the insights are decent and the dialogue contains a lot of honesty that I think many people can relate to. The cast are all first rate with special attention going to Ben Affleck, who has so needed a good role in front of the camera for ages, and Jennifer Aniston as the couple who can't move forward, also good are Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Connolly in their respective roles. The big star turns for me though are Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long as the hapless dater and the hapless dating coach, who are really good. For Long it's another step up the Hollywood ranks (pretty much the direction he's been heading since "Dodgeball") and for Goodwin it is a star-making turn that should do for her what "knocked-up" did for Heigl.
The film of course has a number of elements and outcomes that are extremely predictable (it IS a romantic comedy) but there's enough other stuff in there, and definite surprises at the end, to make it more than just the sum of its parts. It's charming, clever and, when viewed with a pantomime-style audience that I saw it with, a lot of fun, and I'm a guy! A cross between "When Harry met Sally" and "Friends" that doesn't try and jump on the gross-out comedy bandwagon.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have just come from this movie. When will I learn not to pay money to see movies like this? When will directors learn that a good ensemble movie is very hard to make? Where is Robert Altman when you need him? I found it extremely hard to relate to or to find sympathy for the characters. Some of their actions were so unbelievably stupid that I just wanted to smack them. And what shallow lives they lived! Work, bar-hopping and texting. Character development was equally shallow. What epiphany did the Justin Long character undergo to realize that he was really "into" the Ginnifer Goodwin character? One confused meeting with the wait staff does not an epiphany make. The same goes for the Jennifer Aniston character realizing what a catch Ben Affleck's character was. So he washed some dishes. And why did he suddenly want to marry her....Because she suddenly didn't want to??? I would have thrown that engagement ring at his head. And what did the Jennifer Connelly character ever see in that wishy-washy (although good-looking) chump of a husband? The Scarlett Johansson character needed some serious therapy for that self-involvement problem of hers (or maybe a good slap upside the head). I guess the best thing about the movie is that it has given me a forum to write just how lackluster it was. I guess that will have to do.
It is rare for a Boy meets girl movie to please people now days. I mean
lets face it Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle set the bar so
high that anything else will pale in comparison.
But to me this movie kind of shows now modern relationships work or don't work. If anything is a falter in this story it is that it trys to hard to show too many stories.
Sure there is X likes Y but Y likes Z but Z is married to A. Which is always entertaining.
Then there is the Ben Affleck / Jeniffer Aniston couple that may sum up most of the "couples" I know.
The whole mentioning of "new dating rules" is kind of cool to see that cell phones, emails, myspace and speeddating have replaced and re-written the rules for dating...and in some way made it harder not easier. Some people says this movie is full of stereotypes. In my opinion it covers just about all the realities in dating...especially dating in fast paced big city life.
What I liked though is the movie balanced "The Bad Guy" with "Bad Girl" Showing that there are breakups faulted by both sides. And there are regretful feelings for both Women and Men.
I would say rent it, hopefully you are not watching it alone.
I didn't have high expectations for this movie. I never read the book
HJNTIY (seemed pretty self explanatory by the title alone) and I wasn't
really sure how it could be made into a film, but I'll say I thoroughly
That being said, this is a CHICK FLICK--not a date movie. So don't be surprised by all the negative reviews written by guys--of course they can't stand it, and I definitely wouldn't try dragging your boyfriend to go see it for Valentine's Day...this is a movie you want to see with the girls. I wasn't that interested in seeing it, but I was talked into it and it was the perfect 2 hour distraction. The cast is fun to watch--Jennifer Anniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Jennifer Connelly are delightful on screen together, and I even take back all the bad things I've said about Ben Affleck--I thought he was a perfect fit for this movie.
It's also a very funny movie--I'm one of those people who love going to a packed theater where everyone laughs on cue and claps at the end, and this was one of those experiences. Some of the lines are priceless, and a couple of the funniest scenes in the movie involve "street interviews" à la Sex and the City Season 1. It's just an easy, fun, entertaining film--just relax and enjoy yourself, and don't try to hold this movie to a standard that it wasn't designed to meet. I'd go see it in a packed theater if you can, otherwise wait for the DVD and have a girls' night in!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, I don't know why but I actually quite liked this film - I seem to
be developing a soft spot for the chick-flick as I get older, even as I
become more questioning of the content: the depiction of men as
relationship objects, utilities for female use, romantic experience
service providers to be selected & consumed the same as the wedding
magazines the characters in this film pore over.
I was disappointed that there had to be a wedding in it (not saying who) after all the intelligent dissection of marriage earlier on, but I guess that's what gets women off: matrimony is the money shot of the chick flick.
Also, if trying to depict both sides it missed a golden opportunity in not pointing out that today many men, perhaps most, feel there simply is nothing IN modern marriage to make a man want to take the risk in subjecting himself to it anymore. The growth of the recent phenomena of 'Men Going Their Own Way' is largely attributable to this alone. No-fault divorce & the lack of any financial disadvantages stemming from that for women has meant that any man signing a marriage contract is now only flipping a coin (since close to half of all marriages now end in divorce) to see whether he is going to lose everything he's spent his whole life working for - his house, his wife, his savings, his children. Marriage is now a loaded gun that only shoots one way. Women, on the other hand, have nothing to lose & everything to gain, & so their fetishization of that walk up the aisle continues stronger than ever, even as the possibility of their experiencing the reality of it dwindles.
Scarlett Johansson is, as others have noted here, so mind-bogglingly sexy it's hard to concentrate on a great deal else but yes, I agree it must have taken a lot of work to make Jennifer Connolly look as manically unhinged & awful as she does here. Having said that, I have to admit I don't think I've ever seen her in anything where she's seemed like someone I'd like to hang out with, even though she is physically one of the most gorgeous creatures on planet earth.
Why ANY man would want to even go to dinner with the wholly sexless & profoundly unattractive Jennifer Aniston is simply beyond my mortal comprehension, let alone marry her. Poor Ben Affleck. By the end of the film he's really, really, really screwed.
I guess the thing I don't like - & that no-one seemed to question - was the assumption that in every instance, the women knew best, if only the men would just get with the program - THEIR program, THEIR perfect world they want the handsome, wealthy men to come along & facilitate, regardless what the men themselves might want or need. Repeatedly we are told that men thinking of themselves are jerks, but female solipsism is seen as being simply The Way Things Are, a fact of life. Which I guess it actually is.
In the end, though, & for all these flaws, the film is still a pleasant enough place to spend an hour or two. It IS likable, even if it is morally underdeveloped & appallingly manipulative - a lot like the women it depicts, now that I think of it.
Before I can even begin a criticism of the movie I have to ask: How can
woman enjoy, and support, this film? The movie portrays women has
whiny, desperate, and pathetic creatures who do nothing besides gossip
and give each other relationship pep talks. The scenes where Jennifer
Anniston, Jennifer Connelly, and Ginnifer Goodwin are in the office
where they are employed are perfect examples of this. Despite being
educated, professional women, instead of working, they spend all their
time discussing their relationships and consoling one another. As a
young adult male I can honestly say that this is the kind of portrayal
of women which makes men not take them seriously. The fact that women
support and like this movie only gives further credence to these
clearly prejudiced beliefs. So again how can women support a movie
which portrays them so poorly? It makes about as much sense to me as
Muslims supporting a movie about three young, college educated Arab men
who work in the same office and spend all of their time making bombs
and planning terrorist attacks.
Now that that's out of the way, my major problem with the movie is that it has easily the worst script ever committed to screen. There is not an original bit of dialogue to be found anywhere. All of the characters are completely generic and unoriginal. Ginnifer Goodwin plays the crazily desperate woman, Jennifer Connelly is the woman who is cheated on, Benn Affleck plays the man scared of commitment, and Kevin Connolly plays the man chasing the woman who he will never get... I could go on, but honestly, why bother? The only exception to this is Drew Barrymore's character, which plays no important role in the movie at all. It seems like she went to the producers after the movie was already completed and said: "Hey I want to be in this movie, I'll pay you fifty million dollars if you give me a part." They agreed, shot two scenes where three multi-racial, stereotypical gay men give her dating advice and pep talks, and one scene where she and Kevin Connolly fall for each other completely out of the blue and for no other reason than that every major character needed to be in a couple when the movie ended.
The other major flaw with the movie is that it is one of those rare romantic comedies which manages to be completely and totally devoid of humor. I only chuckled twice during the movie. Twice. In two hours. Two chuckles, not even real laughs, just quiet chuckles. Two
Finally, it was obvious to me immediately after glancing at the DVD case that the movie was going to be clever and totally original combination of Sex and the City and Love Actually. I was right. To conclude, the surest sign that this movie was awful is that my girlfriend, who loved Sex and the City and Love Actually, fell asleep for fifteen minutes during the movie.
This sumptuous ensemble romantic comedy managed to exceed my
expectations in every way. It was extremely hilarious and utterly
realistic, and features an eclectic cast that all add something
different to this intriguing tale of dealing with the pitfalls of
dating and marriage.
The story begins with Gigi. After a first date, she becomes mildly obsessive waiting for the guy to call her during the week after. But he doesn't and this is the catalyst that eventually proceeds to link all the characters together in interconnected plot lines that range from funny and sweet, (Drew Barrymore's character bemoaning the fact that there's so much technology out there and she's managed to get dumped via email, MySpace and SMS) to tragic and heartbreaking (Ben Afflleck and Jennifer Aniston's characters not seeing eye to eye on getting married and so she would rather throw away their 7 year old relationship).
Scarlet Johansson also plays a pivotal role, that of a single woman who has a friend pining for her, but she would rather try and tempt a married man who himself is going through a rough patch with his wife, played to perfection by Jennifer Connelly. The way that this love-quadrangle plays out forms the basis for the realism factor, and while there are some sweet and tender moments, it's ultimately a tragedy that you can see is coming, because for this foursome, 2 people are gonna get hurt. And this plot line is expertly written.
Justin Long provides the voice of reason fashioned on the book on which the movie is based. His character, Alex, is the advice-dispensing guide who takes Gigi under his wing and tries to reveal all the ins and outs of dating dos and don'ts. And this masterstroke is how the movie becomes a guide just like the book, while also telling a story that many of us will see ourselves in.
The acting is all pretty faultless, with Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Brendan Cooper and Justing Long displaying some of their best work. Scarlet is as stunning as ever, and plays the temptress well, but Barrymore is sadly underutilized. In total, I think she might only have 10 minutes worth of screen time, but she does use it well.
And I wouldn't go so far to call this a 'chick flick', as I think there's just as much enjoyment and knowledge to be gained from this movie for us guys as there is for women. All in all, a perfect date movie.
A group of interconnected, Baltimore-based twenty- and
thirty-somethings navigate their various relationships from the shallow
end of the dating pool through the deep, murky waters of married life,
trying to read the signs of the opposite sex... and hoping to be the
exceptions to the "no-exceptions" rule.
Gigi just wants a man who says he'll calland doeswhile Alex advises her to stop sitting by the phone. Beth wonders if she should call it off after years of committed singlehood with her boyfriend, Neil, but he doesn't think there's a single thing wrong with their unmarried life. Janine's not sure if she can trust her husband, Ben, who can't quite trust himself around Anna. Anna can't decide between the sexy married guy, or her straightforward, no-sparks standby, Conor, who can't get over the fact that he can't have her. And Mary, who's found an entire network of loving, supportive men, just needs to find one who's straight.
If you've ever sat by the phone wondering why he said he would call, but didn't, or if you can't figure out why she doesn't want to sleep with you anymore, or why your relationship just isn't going to the next level... he (or she) is just not that into you. He's Just Not That Into You 7/10
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