Tuesday, June 2, 2009

He's Just Not That into You DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Shallow Battle-of-the-Sexes Sitcom Out on DVD

When you’re starting out with a cast stacked with Academy Award-winners Jennifer Connelly and Ben Affleck, plus Kris Kristofferson, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin, you really ought to produce a picture more compelling than this shallow, battle-of-the-sexes sitcom. Based on the self-help best seller of the same name, the movie is marred by a dumb plot which repeatedly resurrects the pre-feminism notion that a female ought to feel incomplete without a man. Meanwhile, the screen is littered with a slew of macho alpha males who seize on every opportunity to mistreat members of the opposite sex.
The film opens by driving home the point that this antagonistic way of relating is a universal phenomenon via offensive tableaus in Asia and Africa, where we’re introduced to a “primitive” native girl waiting impatiently for a date. She is assured by a sympathetic friend that “I’m sure he just forgot your hut number, or was eaten by a lion.” So, as you can see, this flick trades freely not merely in misogyny but in offensive ethnic stereotypes, too.
The story subsequently settles down in Baltimore, and introduces us to some desperate females on the brink of emotional crisis. Marriage-minded Beth (Aniston) is pressuring the guy (Affleck) she’s been living with for years to make an honest woman out of her. Dimwitted Gigi (Goodwin) has the hots for Conor (Kevin Connolly). Too bad he barely even notices she’s alive.
Janine (Connelly) has suspicions about the fidelity of her husband, Ben (Bradley Cooper), who has been leaving behind telltale signs that he’s cheating on her. The shameless philanderer’s mistress (Johansson) is empty between the ears, otherwise he might not feel any remorse when his wife wises up and kicks him out of the house. And then there’s Mary (Barrymore), a news reporter who’s quite contrary because all of the eligible bachelors working at her paper are gay.
Don’t be duped by the promising-sounding scenarios, the material here never digs any deeper than the average episode of The Love Boat.

Fair (1 star)
Rated PG-13 for sexuality and brief profanity.
Running time: 129 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Ken Kwapis

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