Even though I’m married, the ratio of guy movies to chick flicks I’ve watched is not 50/50. A lot of that is due to the fact that I have no problem going to a theater by myself coupled with the fact that my wife likes to take naps. But some of it is because she studied film in school and is not real big on chick flicks either. This works out well for me, but since I owe her a lot of films to make that ratio more even, we end up watching films like “He’s Just Not That Into You,” every now and then.
The first time we saw a preview for this film, our first thought (yes, both of us) was that there were too many well-known actors in the film. I’ve said it before, if there are too many stars in a film, it usually means the film is going to be blah at best and a disaster at worst. This film decided to challenge the label by casting the least known of the well-known actors (Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin) in the lead roles. While the film wasn’t a disaster, it wasn’t even as good as blah.
The title of the film is supposed to be the plot of the film. Goodwin is an innocent girl making her way through the pitfalls of dating. After going on a date with Kevin Connelly (I’ll be referring to him as KC since Jennifer Connolly is also in this film and you’ll already be confused enough) and not hearing from him for days, she decides to “run into him” at a bar that he frequents. His roommate, Long, runs the bar and befriends Goodwin, teaching her how to recognize when men aren’t interested in women. By itself, this could have been the entire film and would have been worth watching, providing there was an adequate amount of comedy included. Unfortunately, the four (FOUR!!!) writers decided this story wasn’t nearly convoluted enough.
Before we go on, I feel it’s important that you know that this movie was based on a self-help book written by two authors, based on a line from “Sex and the City.” If you’re counting, it took four people to rewrite what it took two people to write what one person originally wrote. The dumbest part of that is that two of the four screenwriters were the two authors of the book. Fuck…maybe I need a nap.
Anyway, the real problem with this film is that the Long/Goodwin story is the only one that matches that title and only fills about twenty-five minutes of a two hour and nine minute film. The rest are just other relationships that have to be twisted to fit that title. This is also where the convolution comes into the story so try just raise your hand if you need to me stop for a minute.
KC has the hots for Scarlett Johansson who basically treats him like a girl friend or gay guy friend. Johansson has the hots for Bradley Cooper, who really wants to nail her, but is married to Jennifer Connolly and he doesn’t want to cheat on his wife. Connolly works with Goodwin and Jennifer Aniston and they like to share their problems with each other in there cubicles. Aniston is dating Ben Affleck, who loves her, but doesn’t want to get married because he doesn’t believe in marriage and he’s a douchebag (no acting required there).
Side note – Did you notice that there are three hot Jennifers in this film (spelling not withstanding) and none of them were either of the Jennifers that Affleck has slept with? Can you even name a sixth Jennifer (or Ginnifer) in Hollywood?
Getting back to the convolution, Affleck is friends with Cooper and they spend some time together on a boat (I dunno). Johansson is friends with Drew Barrymore, who has the hots for KC and also sells ad space to him in the gay section of a newspaper for his real estate business. Are you still with me? I’m not sure I’m even still with me, but I don’t see any hands, so we’ll keep going.
Aniston dumps Affleck because he won’t marry her. Affleck gets drunk on his boat and inadvertently provides the final straw that pushes Cooper into cheating on his wife by asking Cooper why he married Connolly. Cooper says that’s what a decent guy does after three years of dating, then proceeds to start having sex with Johansson (how decent). In a desperate act to save their marriage, Connolly surprises Cooper at his office as he is getting naked with Johansson and has sex with him in his office while Johansson is hiding in the closet. After Connolly leaves, Johansson storms out in disgust (I understand that listening to sex could suck for her, but she’s cheating with him. Boo hoo!) and decides to give KC the sex he’s been masturbating about. KC wants her to move in with him, so she dumps him and Barrymore swoops in for the sloppy seconds. Cooper goes home only to find that Connolly wants a divorce because he lied to her about quitting smoking (she was okay with the cheating. Seriously, he tells her about it, then, keeps doing Johansson). Meanwhile, Aniston’s been dealing with her shitty brothers-in-law and goes running back to Affleck, who ends up proposing to her. Whew!
Do you see what I mean? None of those have anything to do with a him not being into a her. Cooper loves his wife, but is a lying jackass. Affleck loves his girlfriend, but has some sort of issue with the concept of marriage. KC wants Johansson in the worst kind of way and has never even met Barrymore in person. To top off all of this nonsense, none of these side stories affects Long or Goodwin after the first three minutes of the movie. Remember, it took FOUR writers to put this together.
All of this gets me back to my original point – too many stars will usually equal a lame movie. This movie demonstrates that point perfectly by only devoting a small portion of the film to the only relevant story due to the fact that they have to stroke the egos of the insecure stars. Finally, to answer a question you’ve been waiting to ask, yes, “Sex and the City” is arguably one of the stupidest shows ever created. Just look at what it did here.
Rating: Worth about fifty cents. You can watch the same film, but without all of the bullshit, in “The Ugly Truth.”