I have to admit that I’m a sucker for anything that discusses dating/relationship advice. It’s like when I’m waiting in line at the supermarket and I see that Cosmo on the shelf. There’s a hot girl on the cover and one of the headlines reads: “How to Please Your Man 100 Different Ways.” I’ve got to pick it up just to see if they know what they’re talking about.
That’s my excuse for seeing He’s Just Not That Into You.
That’s my excuse for seeing He’s Just Not That Into You.
I never read the book, but I’ve heard the ubiquitous title uttered many times. So I dropped a dozen bucks to see if these people knew what they were talking about.
What I Learned From the Movie
According to this cynical movie, women are annoying, obsessive-compulsive, and stupid. And men are idiotic, horny, and untrustworthy. There were a few exceptions (something the movie preaches), but most of the characters are portrayed as silly one dimensional clichés.
As a man, I didn’t really care if they made fun of our gender. Generally, when men act stupid on screen, it’s kinda funny. But I actually felt bad for women— you guys have flaws, but this movie makes you look like morons. From my experience, most women are beautiful, intelligent and charming. (Am I earning any brownie points?) Sure, there are some psychos. But I just wish the movie showed a mixture of psychos and normal girls.
The movie follows several characters whose lives intersect. There were a few IFBIT (“It’s funny because it’s true.”) moments, but a lot of them were forced. I understood many of the jokes, (like women obsessing if he’s gonna call) but they were dragged out and a little ridiculous. I was disappointed because the ideas were there, they just weren’t executed very well.
Jennifer Connelly did not look very good, but Jennifer Aniston looked awful; not even attractive. I feel evil for saying this, but If I was drunk at a bar, I don’t even know if I’d hit on her.
Scarlett Johansson is HOT. I’ve brought this up and many of my female friends have chastised me for this statement. They completely disagree. Are they jealous? Am I wrong? She’s got to be hot—why else would she play a sexpot/mistress/cheater in most of the movies she’s been in? (Match Point, Lost in Translation, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Home Alone 3, and finally He’s Just Not That Into You.)
Ginnifer Goodwin is like a new and improved version of Drew Barrymore.
Ben Aflleck played the only likable guy in the movie. Who knew?
In one scene, Justin Long is watching the Knicks game and yells at the TV (“Come on, Marbury!”) It always seems so forced when actors pretend to root for games on TV. Do we really look that stupid? Maybe we do.
My theatre was a mix of women, their boyfriends, and me. The women laughed the most. The men chuckled a few times. The most laughs came from a cherubic women two rows behind me. My point is that women will probably enjoy this movie more than men.
The best part of the movie was when the credits rolled. 1) Because it was over. 2) Because they had a mini-documentary where each character was interviewed. You learn more from the characters in that two minute span, then from the whole movie. Maybe this idea could’ve been added throughout the movie to make it more enjoyable and give it a little substance.
Overall, I just wasn’t that into it.
Dating Movies That I’m Into
If you wanna see some better dating/relationship advice movies from the past few decades, check some of these out.
The Tao of Steve (2000)
An underrated movie which follows an overweight womanizer. His game comes into question once he meets a girl he really cares about. Dex (Donald Logue) uses philosophy and Taoism in his quest to meet women. Some of his rules are: being desireless, being excellent in front of women, and then finally retreating from women so they want him.
Best Line: (Fat Dex is talking to his buddy Dave) “Look at me. Look at me, okay? Technically, I shouldn't be getting laid, but I do. And do you know why, Dave? Because when I'm hanging out with a woman, that's all I'm doing is hanging out, talking, listening. I'm not sitting there thinking about how to get in bed with her. And this completely confuses them because they're saying "Wait a minute. I'm so much better looking than this guy. Isn't he attracted to me?" The basic principle: We pursue that which retreats from us.”
Rodger Dodger (2002)
A scumbag player in NYC takes out his 16 year old nephew and teaches him how to pick up women. Although some parts are pretty dark, Roger gives some great monologues on meeting women.
Best Line: (Roger speaking to his nephew at a bar at 10 pm) “Who is the greatest basketball player in the history of the game? Michael Jordan. Why was he the greatest? Because he paced himself. Because he always had something left at the finish. Magic Johnson called it ''winning time.'' See those guys over there? Those guys think they're kicking ass. Believe me, it is early. We are a long way from winning time, so pay attention...champions refuse to lose. Be like Mike.”
The love doctor is in. He helps ordinary Joes meet the girl of their dreams. He points out how difficult is it to approach women, and that they should give us a break. Thanks, Hitch.
Best Line: “Basic Principles - no matter what, no matter when, no matter who... any man has a chance to sweep any woman off her feet; he just needs the right broom.”
A group of aspiring actors try to meet women in LA. This is like the bible of men’s movies on relationships and dating. It’s impossible to go to Vegas or the Dresden in LA without quoting this movie (“You are so money, and you don’t even know it.”) The movie discusses the rules of the game: how to meet women, why you shouldn’t be intimidated by them, how long you wait to call, how to get over your ex, etc.
There are too many quotes to choose from. I’ll with Vince Vaughn’s short speech to Mikey in the bar.
Best Line: “I don't want you to be the guy in the PG-13 movie everyone's *really* hoping makes it happen. I want you to be like the guy in the rated R movie, you know, the guy you're not sure whether or not you like yet. You're not sure where he's coming from. Okay? You're a bad man. You're a bad man, Mikey. You're a bad man, bad man.”
Annie Hall (1977)
This follows Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and his on and off again relationship with Annie Hall (Diane Keaton.) This was one of the only comedies ever to win the Academy Award for best picture (It also won best director, best screenplay and Diane Keaton won for best actress.) It addresses the ups and downs of relationships and sex, and it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.
Once again, there are so many quotes, but I’ll go with…
Best Line: “I thought of that old joke, y'know... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... but, uh, I guess we keep goin' through it because most of us... need the eggs.”
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
This follows the on and off again friendship between Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan.) Another great movie that discusses the rules of relationships. I really think it was inspired by Annie Hall (similar music, both men are neurotic and obsessed with death, the use of split screens, the interactions between the main characters.) WHMS discusses breaking up, the ticking clock, the fake orgasm, why men and women can’t be friends, etc.
Best Line: “Yes, that's right, they can't be friends. Unless both of them are involved with other people, then they can... This is an amendment to the earlier rule. If the two people are in relationships, the pressure of possible involvement is lifted... That doesn't work either, because what happens then is, the person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say "No, no, no it's not true, nothing is missing from the relationship," the person you're involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with, which you probably are. I mean, come on, who the hell are we kidding, let's face it. Which brings us back to the earlier rule before the amendment, which is men and women can't be friends.”
The Brothers McMullen (1995)
Three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity. Part of me loves this movie because I’ve got two older brothers. The other part of me loves it because it talks about love, dating, and marriage with candor and originality.
Best Line: “Man is like a banana. Strong and firm, bright and phallic, and he's protected by his all-important shield. But, when a woman comes along, you know, she sees this bright phallic beast and she wants it. So, she starts peeling away your all-important shield. [peels the banana] First, she wants to see your romantic side, then she wants to see your passionate side, finally she wants to see your soft, caring, feminine side. She keeps peeling and peeling until your left there buck naked, totally exposed with your balls blowing in the wind. And that's when she gets her knife, and she cuts away your manhood piece by piece until she's having your cock in her corn flakes.”
About A Boy (2002)
Hugh Grant is a player that discovers recently divorced women tend to crave something casual (i.e. sex without commitment.) He pretends to be a single father, and joins SPAT (Sing Parents Alone Together) so he can meet more chicks. But ladies, don’t hate. Hugh ends up becoming buddies with an adolescent boy who teaches him how to treat women the right way. Hugh stops being a jerk, and realizes that women are awesome.
Best Line: “The thing is, a person's life is like a TV show. I was the star of The Will Show. And The Will Show wasn't an ensemble drama. Guests came and went, but I was the regular. It came down to me and me alone. If Marcus' mum couldn't manage her own show, if her ratings were falling, it was sad, but that was her problem. Ultimately, the whole single mum plotline was a bit complicated for me.”
The Bachelor’s Degree (?)
This movie is still in pre-pre-pre-production. I heard the guy who wrote it is enormously talented, but hasn’t caught his big break yet.
It’s about a dorky senior in college who seeks out the help of the stud freshman to learn to live his last 6 weeks of college the right way. The movie talks about relationships, how to pick up chicks in college, and of course true love.
Best Line: “I’ll tell you what you learned. You learned to take rejection. Once you’re immune to rejection, you’re invincible. Now you have the ability to go up to any girl you want. And you gotta remember it’s a numbers game. You hit 5 out of 20 foul shots, you’re Shaq. The media’s all over you. But in this world, anything over a 0 is a win.”
Love Actually (2003)
This movie will melt even the toughest guys around (i.e. my brother.) The movie follows
8 very different couples during Christmas time in the UK. The movie shows us that love is all around us and can appear in lots of different ways.
Best Line: “Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinions starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around.”
So if you're having trouble meeting someone or your relationship is on the rocks, just remember: There's lots of great movies you can watch to pass the time.