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“He's Just Not That Into You” previews defy clichés

“He’s Just Not That Into You is not your typical chick-flick,” says actor Bradley Cooper about the upcoming romantic comedy…

By Miné Salkin , in Feminist Film Reel , on February 2, 2009

He’s Just Not That Into You is not your typical chick-flick,” says actor Bradley Cooper about the upcoming romantic comedy directed by Ken Kwapis (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, License to Wed). 

The movie is based on the bestseller book which was written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, who also wrote the wildly popular Sex and the City. Cinematically, the novel has been translated onto an all-star cast including Academy-Award winning writer Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting).

According to Cooper and co-stars Justin Long and Kevin Connolly, the movie defies the stereotypes of the typical estrogen-heavy film genre. That’s because the men act like women.

The trio list ten quintessential clichés such as bad outfit montages, someone “sliding down a wall, crying,” or a “quirky/sardonic/sassy best friend,” which this film avoids completely. There isn’t even an open declaration of love, or omniscient droning narratives of the characters’ thoughts and feelings. Phew.

Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly and Ginnifer Goodwin talk about what women want

He’s Just Not That Into You is a glimpse into attraction and the social mores of dating in the 21st century, from the viewpoint that changes in the role of women and that of technology often dictate the course of romantic human relationships.

Flaunting the tag line “Are you the exception… or are you the rule,” the film follows the dating stories of a group of thirty-somethings who are all interconnected in their Baltimore locale. They’re battling through shallow, dead-end relationships, searching for a meaningful connection with another person through a myriad of mixed signals and miscommunication. The mutual goal: matrimony.

The book focuses on the frequent inability of men to act on their romantic impulses, despite the machismo attitudes they have about work, their industry, and all other aspects of their life. The movie dwells on the excuses women make for men who haven’t pursued them, such as:

“He’s afraid to get hurt again.”

“Maybe he doesn’t want to ruin the friendship.”

“Maybe he’s intimidated by me.”

“He just got out of a relationship.”

However, the reality of the situation is that these men are too terrified to say “You’re not the one,” and this is where the women step in.

The film’s due this Friday, February 6th in theaters, just in time for the joyous Valentines occasion. “You might think this sucks, but it’s not your typical chick flick!”