With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it is important to talk about movies such as this one, which give a true picture of relationships, and what dating is truly like.
He’s Just Not That Into You, directed by Ken Kwapis, consists of a star cast, with the likes of Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore, Bradley Cooper, and a number of others, tells a story of nine different people, and how they deal with the hardship filled world of dating.
The story revolves around Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), who is shown to be terrible at dating, as she comes on too eager, ‘scaring’ men away. After a couple of failed dates, she realises, with the help of Alex (Justin Long), that words of encouragement that women tell each other, are actually just lies, in order to keep up a hope of a man calling them after a date. Alex gives examples of frequently used phrases by men which clearly indicate that they did not enjoy the date, and will not be calling the woman after. Gigi realises that she has been misinterpreting signals for an extremely long time.
Along the way, Gigi slowly falls for Alex, and is initially rejected by him, but as all romantic movies end, the couple ends on a happy note.
At the same time, Gigi’s friend, Janine (Jennifer Connelly), is having marital problems. She obsesses over getting her house renovated, in turn, neglecting her husband, who turns towards another woman, Anna (Scarlett Johansson), for friendship. Janine continues to not trust Ben (Bradley Cooper) over the course of the movie, and eventually finds out that he lied to her about a number of things, including the fact that he had quit smoking. Unfortunately, this couple does not get a happy ending, and Ben is thrown out of the house, with not even Anna to comfort him.
Anna is also lusting after Ben, but is initially rejected by him. When she finally manages to seduce him, Janine comes, forcing Anna to hide in the closet. Through the closet, Anna watches Janine seduce Ben; after which, she leaves angrily, abandoning all hope of getting Ben.
Gigi’s other friend, Beth (Jennifer Aniston), finds herself in a relationship with Neil (Ben Affleck), in which he does not want to get married. Despite being together for seven years, Neil does not believe in the institution of marriage, and believes that after marriage, the love dies out. Beth leaves Neil, but realises that she would rather be in a relationship with someone she loves (even if he does not want to get married), than not be with that person. Neil also realises that love means putting one’s significant other’s happiness above one’s own, and ends up proposing to Beth.
This movie is a critique on everything that one is taught growing up. As children, parents tell their daughters that if a boy is teasing her, it means that he likes her. This narrative is extremely problematic, as girls then grow up to believe that being actively rejected by men, and being hurt by men, is a sign that the man likes them. This also serves as an excuse for men to treat women badly and get away with it.
The movie also breaks notions of how only a man can call a woman after a date. This gives the man an upper hand, while also making the woman dependent on the man. There is no reason why a woman cannot call a man after a date, which Beth clearly states in the movie, while convincing Gigi to call the man she went out with.
The highlight of the movie is definitely the actors.With this starcast, this movie hits each nail on the head. The scenarios are extremely relatable, and the movie breaks a lot of notions and stereotypes.
I believe that ‘He’s Just Not That into You’ is a very appropriate movie to watch on Valentine’s Day, as it dwells into the reality of dating and relationships, and does not just show the superficial, happy-go lucky side, which most romantic films do. This movie is also empowering, and makes one feel good about themselves, no matter what their relationship status is!