Dir: Ken Kwapis. US. 2009. 129 mins.


Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films has transformed zeitgeist dating book He’s Just Not That Into Youinto a dramatic feature and the resulting crisscross of stories and characters makes for an intermittently engaging ensemble which outstays its welcome but contains some peppy performances and amusing observations along the 129-minute way. A high-wattage star cast and a subject matter which resonates with millions of women around the world should guarantee a healthy box office performance for the film which plays like a less witty - and younger - Sex And The City.

Taking the non-fiction book as a starting point, the script has created multiple storylines which clunkily address different problems facing today’s young daters and marrieds. Fortunately director Ken Kwapis, whose credits include teen female ensemble Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, focuses on the actors - Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson and Barrymore herself included - who keep the film watchable even at its most cliched and contrived.

With most of the male characters either stock or secondary to the women, the film could follow in the footsteps of Sex And The City: The Movie, Mamma Mia! The Movie, Marley And Me and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button which have all become bona fide blockbusters thanks to a predominantly female demographic.

Ginnifer Goodwin has the film’s largest role as a young woman called Gigi who wears her desperation on her sleeve. Unable to read signals effectively, she sits by the phone, calls men when they haven’t called her, and turns guys off with her over-enthusiasm. She develops a friendship with a bar manager Alex (Long) who starts to give her advice on how to interpret her dates, one of whom is Alex’s friend Conor (Connolly).

Conor meanwhile is infatuated with Anna (Johansson), a voluptuous young woman who doesn’t care for him beyond friendship and has instead fallen for a married man called Ben (Cooper) who is bored in his sexless marriage to the uptight Janine (Connelly). She, in turn, works in the same office as Gigi and Beth (Aniston), a woman longing for her seven-year boyfriend Neil (Affleck) to propose marriage. Anna’s friend Mary (Barrymore), meanwhile, is struggling to find love through online channels.

Set in a muddy-coloured Baltimore, He’s Just Not That Into You is far too long and, for all the dilemmas of the various chapter headings (‘If he’s sleeping with someone else’, ‘If he’s not marrying you’, ‘If she’s not sleeping with you’, ‘If he’s not calling you’ etc), it ends with the inevitable romantic couplings or separations that movie convention demands.

Most appealing in the ensemble are Goodwin and Long as unlikely soulmates. Goodwin, especially, brings an appealing warmth and logic to her character, who could have been shrill and hysterical, embodying as she does the desperation for love so prevalent among today’s twentysomethings.

Production company

Flower Films

North American distribution

Warner Bros Pictures/New Line

International distribution

New Line International


Nancy Juvonen


Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein, based on the book by Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo


John Bailey

Production designer

Gae Buckley


Cara Silverman


Cliff Edelman

Main cast

Ben Affleck

Jennifer Aniston

Drew Barrymore

Jennifer Connelly

Kevin Connolly

Bradley Cooper

Ginnifer Goodwin

Scarlett Johansson

Kris Kristofferson

Justin Long