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He's Just Not That Into You


Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore

Director: Ken Kwapis

Sensibly aimed at a St Valentine’s Day release, this glossy but undemanding romcom, efficiently adapted by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein from a popular book by Sex and The City writers Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, emerges as an competent enough chickflick to serve its obvious purpose, which is to entertain without leaving much of a trace in cinemagoers’ memories.

Feminists in particular should approve of a general attitude towards the men in these interlinked tales of the loves, loves and romantic and other disappointments of a group of New Yorkers since they are largely shown as cads and rotters and essentially ego-and-hormone-driven, leaving the women as moral and victors in romance. If that a analysis is emotionally shallow it matches the film which offers a glossy riff on Sex and the City with, happily, a dash of much-needed cynicism and realism. And, if there are more thwarted love affairs than happy endings, then surely that is the right approach and rather more like real life?

By and large Kwapis’ energetic if not particularly sophisticated direction elicits okay performances with Connolly and Long emerging as winners and Goodwin upstaging them both: Aniston who makes more appearances on the covers of supermarket tabloids like ‘National Enquirer’ than good films is almost adequate, Johansson, as always, relies on her natural attributes rather than trying to act, and Affleck – well, he’s Affleck as usual which may be what people want. Not me, though.

Alan Frank

USA/Germany 2009. UK Distributor: Entertainnment Film Distributors. Colour.
129 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 22 Feb 2009