He's Just Not That Into You

A film about relationships from both sides of the gender divide sounds like a good idea, if only he'd avoided simplistic story lines.

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Film critics are usually accused of being too snooty, or of the wrong demographic, when they bestow a poor review on a populist chick flick. I know I'm not the target audience, but with a cast that reads like a who's who of Hollywood's female hot list and a male line-up that includes Ben Affleck and Justin Long, surely it isn't too much to expect more than a string of clichés about why men and women don't communicate well. The film is based on Liz Tuccillo and Greg Behrendt's popular book, which looks at relationships from both sides of the gender divide. It sounds like a good idea, and the intention of cutting through the game playing seems to pay off early when the bar manager Alex (Long) explains to the hopeless romantic Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) that when a guy doesn't call, it's because he's not interested. However, the director Ken Kwapis knows the majority of his audience will be hopeless romantics, so he can't avoid a simplistic storyline about a married couple (Bradley Conner and Jennifer Connelly), or a finger-wagging plot about a guy (Affleck) and his refusal to marry his girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston). In a pivotal moment, Gigi is engrossed in the Eighties classic Some Kind of Wonderful. If only Kwapis's film was half as good.