Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

I’m ‘Just not that into’ this movie

I become weary whenever I can recognize most of the names of a movie’s ensemble cast; I become especially weary whenever I can recognize all the names of a movie’s ensemble cast. Ensemble casts tend to invite hackneyed plots, shoddy acting, and cheap entertainment (“Ocean’s” series and “Lord of the Rings” series included). Suffice to say, “He’s Just Not That Into You” doesn’t fail to show you an actor you’ve seen before. I even recognized most of the extras; yes, even the hysterical gay men that hovered around Mary (Drew Barrymore) and then Conor (Kevin Connolly).

If I were to point out one bright spot in this movie, it would probably be them and the much-needed humorous interludes they provide to a clichéd plot –– even if the film’s title might suggest otherwise.

Okay, you say, so just because I can recognize all of the actors in a movie doesn’t mean that the movie is necessarily bad. Fair enough.  

But even Justin Long, the guy who does those adorable little Mac commercials, gives a disappointing performance as he instantaneously goes from the “guy-who-sees-through-the-bullcrap” to the “guy-who-becomes-the-bullcrap.” You can’t help but cringe at the rest of the movie.

Exactly what the romantic comedy genre –– if it even carries that noteworthy distinction –– doesn’t need right now, “He’s…” reinforces stereotypes, taints several actors’ careers and fails miserably in its objective to tell women to take initiative in their mythical pursuit of “The One”: that awfully misleading, platonic lock-and-key model for love that has managed to deceive millions around the world.

I felt sad for this movie at times, or perhaps schadenfreude was getting the better of me. To my dismay, it tries to pull off “multiple-intertwined-plotlines,” or, by its more official name, “hyperlink cinema.” This didn’t work one bit as each of the characters only really had one fruitless connection with another character.  

Rather than provide insight into the nature of relationships, the faux-hyperlink style is frustrating, making you ask, “Why was it even in there in the first place?”

Perhaps the worst parts of the movie were several horribly out of place cut-scenes. Half of a sentence flashed on the screen at random intervals throughout the movie in an attempt to finish the phrase “He’s just not that into you if…” As if that weren’t enough, people on the street respond to ambiguous questions about the abstract concept of “love” following these cut scenes. Their answers in these fake interviews rival those produced by Jay Leno’s hush-up satire series “Jaywalking” for their absurdity.  

This is a cinematic faux-pas, an attempt to put a spin on something that can’t be spun, an awful try at a nuanced mise-en-scène: nothing is being put on stage at all.

“He’s…” is a ‘chick flick’ at its worst: In their own words, they are the rule rather than the exception.  

If any of you go see this dreadful waste of $25 million (It would behoove you to save your money and go see “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” next Monday at Kimball.), you may walk out of it saying, “Aww, how cute.” But you have no one but yourself to blame if you don’t.

Oops, it looks as though I forgotten to mention the rest of the ensemble cast. I guess they weren’t much of an ensemble after all.

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