So, I just went to see He's Just Not That Into You last night and was horrified. First of all, I read the book and this post will contain spoilers for the book and the movie, so if you don't want to know, stop here. I don't often put on my feminist hat, but I'm putting it on for this post. The movie portrays women as obsessive, can't-define-their-lives-without-a-man psychos. I wish I had taken notes, honestly, to help me better berate this atrocious excuse for a chick flick. Not only did the movie make women look desperate (some guys, too...I guess they actually thought they were adding an element of "balance" which is laughable), but it even encourages their desperation with the positive outcomes of their psycho behavior.
Ginnifer Goodwin plays Gigi who is about as clingy, psycho, and desperate as it gets. Aside from the fact that I don't think she's attractive in the least, she hangs on to every single guy she goes out with by staring at the phone, obsessively checking her voicemail, pseudo-stalking said guys, and talking about nothing other than these douchebags. Apparently, her only goal in life is to find her "soul mate" (because her job at the Spice company must be completely fulfilling...). How obnoxious. And after displaying the appallingly obsessive behavior, she goes on a tirade against the guy who's been giving her relationship advice. Her basic message in the tirade was that she was better than him because at least she was trying to find a relationship when all he was doing was banging random chicks. As the story progressed, the movie would have you believe that she was justified in her tirade. So the message is apparently thus: it's better to be psycho about looking for a relationship than to be realistic and have fun while you're still young. Then to top off all of her female-degrading shenanigans, her loathsome behavior is rewarded in the end when the guy (Justin Long) who's been giving her guy advice decides that he's in love with her. WTF is that supposed to say? Ok, so let me break it down: you act really psycho and obsessive over guys and that will eventually land you a great guy and you're a better person for that than you are for banging random people and being guarded. Riiiiight.
Ok, moving on. Then there's the scenario where Jennifer Anniston and Ben Affleck have been in a relationship for 7 years and still aren't married and one day after a discussion with the aforementioned pscyho (Ginnifer Goodwin), Jenn decides to demand to know whether Ben, who has never believed in marriage, ever intends on marrying her and breaks up with him when he doesn't answer (because clearly, taking relationship advice from the other chick who can't even land a second date is a good idea). But of course, when her dad has a heart attack, Ben comes to save the day and Jenn decides that she'll take him back sans the marriage. So, cheesily as it goes, Ben decides to propose to her despite the fact that he doesn't believe in marriage. Ok, so the second lesson that we are supposed to learn from this movie is that it's ok to guilt someone into marrying you. Riiiight.
Ok, next. Then we have the ridiculous story involving Scarlet Johansson who meets Bradley Cooper at a grocery store. Unfortunately, Bradley is married to Jennifer Connolly (who's been trying to give psycho girl dating advice). So eventually, after a seeing some painful scenes where Scarlet emotionally abuses some poor guy who's in love with her, Bradley caves to Scarlet's advances. He eventually tells Jennifer who blames herself (!!!) and then decides that she wants to save the marriage. So the last straw for Scarlet is when she's forced into the closet when Bradley's wife stops by his office in the middle of one of his trysts because, you know, him being married and doing her at the same time wasn't disgusting, but apparently sitting in a closet while the guy bangs his wife is just too much. The Jennifer Connolly decides that the last straw is when she finds out Bradley has been smoking behind her back, because, you know, having an affair is ok, but lying about smoking is off limits, buddy! I'm not even sure what convoluted, fucked-up message that scenario is supposed to send...Oh and I almost forgot, after Scarlet gives up on Bradley, she decides to date the guy who's been in love with her despite the fact that she doesn't reciprocate the feelings. So one moral of the story could be that, it's ok to bang a married guy, then decide it sucks and take it out on some poor schmuck that's head over heels for you. Hmm, I've learned a lot so far, haven't you? Then after Scarlet finally admits to herself and the poor scmuck that she's not in love with him, he falls in love with Drew Barrymore and the "happy ending" that we are left with is Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long happily ever after; Ben Affleck and Jennifer Anniston happily ever after; Drew Barrymore and poor schmuck happily ever after; Jennifer Connolly picking up the pieces of her broken life while a narrator implies that she's alone only to set herself up for something better (because being alone period is just not an option); then Scarlet Johansson being a lounge singer and having the narrator say some other bullshit about pursuing your dreams and finding something better (because once again, being alone is just NOT acceptable...it's NOT, do you hear me? huh?).
Now, my other beef with the movie is that it basically goes against everything the book was saying. The book is written as a collection of scenarios in which various girls make excuses for a guy's behavior that really, actually indicates that he's not into her and that she should just move on with her life instead of hoping that she'll be the exception to the rule. The movie is nothing but an entire collection of exceptions to rules and encourages the types of behavior that are expressly warned against in the book. I believe that would be the loosest interpretation of a book I have read yet! I mean, I thought the Harry Potter movies took some serious liberties! Geez.
Now don't forget: repeat it with me "Being alone is NOT ok".
Anyway, hope you enjoyed my scathing review.