Movie: out of
Based on a book that was inspired by a line from the HBO series Sex and the City and featuring an all-star ensemble cast, He’s Just Not That Into You plays like a Robert Altman movie wannabe. Perhaps that is a bit harsh, as Altman is considered to be one of America’s classic directors for his ensemble films like Nashville and Short Cuts, and director Ken Kwapis (whose previous movie was the excruciatingly awful Robin Williams “comedy” License To Wed) is better known for his television credits on episodes of The Office, Freaks and Geeks, and The Bernie Mac Show. Screenwriters Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (Never Been Kissed) do their best to dramatize what was essentially a self-help book, but nearly every character is a stereotype, and none of the male characters (with the possible exception of Kris Kristofferson as the father of Jennifer Aniston’s Beth) are really likeable. The other problem is the juggling of the many stories. I almost felt the need to draw a flowchart prior to writing this review.
Beth is the aging, older sister waiting for her long-term boyfriend Neil (Ben Affleck) to propose marriage. While Neil is perfectly comfortable in his relationship with Beth, he has a fear of committing to a life of matrimony.
Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly plays Janine, the cold, damaged wife to Bradley Cooper’s (Alias, The Hangover) Ben, a man walking the tightrope to an affair with yoga instructor Anna (Scarlet Johansson). Anna is being courted by real estate agent Conor, played by Kevin Connolly (HBO’s Entourage).
Ginnifer Goodwin’s (HBO’s Big Love) Gigi is a clingy, needy, and neurotic early thirty-something desperately in search of a relationship with a good man. She is so obsessed and desperate that she starts up a friendship with bartender and owner Alex (Justin Long, from the Mac vs PC ads), pestering him for dating advice. Alex seems to have a lot of advice to offer, but keeps his distance whenever a woman tries to start anything more than a one-night stand. The bulk of the movie focuses on their relationship.
Drew Barrymore (who also produced this film) has a small, very under-written role as Anna’s friend who can’t seem to find a guy amid all of the technology of today and longs for the days when people had only one phone number.
Video: out of
New Line has provided a fairly typical 1080p transfer using the VC-1 codec for a recent theatrical release. Colors are vibrant, blacks inky, details sharp, compression artifacts are nearly non-existent, and the print used is free of dirt and debris.
Audio: out of
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack provided is a typical comedy or drama mix, with well-centered and intelligible dialogue. Surrounds are almost non-existent, but the LFE does get utilized during sequences in Alex’s bar to accentuate the usually loud music.
Special Features: out of
The extras are somewhat engaging, although may seem a bit sparse.
Baltimore Blade: The Relationship Issue is a series of interview sequences of the cast in character, discussing their lives after the movie. Essentially these are extended scenes from the interviews included during the closing credits.
Six Words That Make Up A Film is an 11 minute featurette with the book’s authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, director Ken Kwapis, screenwriters Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, and the cast discuss the inspirations behind the movie and book, and how the movie came to be.
The Director Stages a Scene: Duet For Telephones is a 4 minute featurette with director Ken Kwapis providing a breakdown of a scene between Gigi and Alex speaking on the telephone.
Deleted Scenes Five deleted scenes are provided, with optional commentary by director Ken Kwapis. All were cut for timing, three of which involve a subplot involving Anna’s mother played by Theresa Russell.
BD-Live The disc cover indicates that additional features are available via BD-Live, but at the time of this review (one week after street date), there was no content available that was specific to this film. All that was provided was access to Warner’s BD-Live portal.
Digital Copy A second disc with a digital copy is included, compatible with Windows Media and iTunes.
Overall: out of
Women will likely enjoy this film (I know my wife did), but most guys will likely dismiss this film as a “chick flick.” Video and audio are about on par with most recent theatrical releases on Blu-ray, and the extras are, for the most part, interesting to watch.