Are women desperate or just desperately stupid? This is the misogynist question at the core of He’s Just Not That Into You, a women-bashing tract disguised as a chick flick. I mean really, will women actually line up this weekend to see themselves treated as pawns in a man’s stupid game? I hope not. This toxic wisp of a movie is based on a toxic wisp of a book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo that was itself based on a toxic wisp of a throwaway line they wrote for TV’s Sex and the City. Be careful — the movie attempts to look harmless. Check out the film’s narrator Gigi, played by too-smart-for-the-part Ginnifer Goodwin, who is so good on HBO’s Big Love. There’s perky Gigi mooning over a decidedly uninterested real-estate tool named Conor (Kevin Connolly) while taking condescending relationship advice from Conor’s bartender pal Alex (Justin Long).
As far as I can tell, the fact that Conor and Alex have jobs is their one claim to being attractive. Yet Gigi salivates over both of them. Yikes. Conor is treated badly by hottie yoga teacher and wannabe singer Anna (Scarlett Johansson). That would make Anna seem smart, except there she is coming on to married guy Ben (Bradley Cooper), whose wife, Janine (Jennifer Connelly), thinks he’s a secret smoker and doesn’t sleep with him, preferring to decorate their Baltimore home. Women, they just love decorating, and shopping. Sex, not so much. Janine’s friend Beth (Jennifer Aniston) has her own obsession: getting married. Jeez, seven years have gone by and her live-in love Neil (Ben Affleck) is still allergic to walking down the aisle. Wouldn’t real women dump these jerks in a heartbeat? What year is this?
The best clue that it’s right now comes from Drew Barrymore as Mary, a victim of the MySpace/Facebook age who bemoans being rejected by men using five different technologies. The single time I laughed during this movie came when Mary defined dating as computer chatting while boy and girl — in separate pumpkin shells — both sipped lattes. Believe me, it’s worse than it sounds. Director Ken Kwapis, who has inflicted License to Wed and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants on unsuspecting moviegoers, drags out the script by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein for a punishing two hours and ten minutes. Here’s a true S&M date movie. Only sadistic men and masochistic women could love it.