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He’s Just Not That Into You in our magazines

THE MOVIE: He’s Just Not That Into You

Drew Barrymore • Ben Affleck • Jennifer Aniston • Kevin Connolly • Bradley Cooper • Scarlett Johansson • Ginnifer Goodwin • Justin Long
DIRECTOR: Ken Kwapis

Based on the best selling self-help book, the movie tells the stories of a group of interconnected, Baltimore-based twenty and thirtysomethings as they navigate their various relationships, trying to read the sign of the opposite sex

U.S. RELEASE: February 6 2009, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


“The origin of the project was my complete obsession with the line and then the book, He’s Just Not That Into You, and I pursued Greg Behrendt (the author) and New Line who owned the rights to it. I had a very clear vision of how I wanted the movie to feel, and that I thought it should be a movie. And I was aware that this amazing self-help book hit this chord for women especially, but I think the information that he likes someone else can really free us up.”

Ken Kwapis“What I love about the script, and this is what attracted me in the first place, is that although it had familiar elements, it actually seemed to behave in a very different way. Love Actually is a terrific film, but I always felt a little bit like there were so many story lines in that film that it was hard for me personally to get under the skin of some of them. When I read Marc (Silverstein) and Abby’s (Kohn) script, I said, ‘Oh my God, this is a sprawling canvas, but not too many stories that I can’t get in depth with all of them.’ In fact, I think what this film does do is avoid a lot of the overly familiar romantic comedy scenes. What I loved about the script is that it doesn’t run joke to joke, gag to gag. The reason things are funny is because the script really is well observed in terms of behavior.”

DREW BARRYMORE (Mary/ Executive Producer):
“I chose to play Mary because I identified with her, I liked her, I wanted to make her the one who’s dismayed by technology, and it was a perfect fit for me. I wanted to express how difficult [technology] is. I still have a wall phone and I love tape and shoot on film. No guys call anymore, it’s all text, so I wanted to discuss that in the film because it’s so important in our day and age of Facebook and MySpace and the internet and texting, it’s just a new ballgame.”

GINNIFER GOODWIN on her role of Gigi:
Ginnifer Goodwin“[As an actress] I’m rejected on a daily basis in what I do for a living, so it was easy for me to play a character who embraces rejection herself in her personal life. I’ve been asked a lot about the neediness and the annoyance of the character, which is something I clearly never thought about, because I don’t know that anyone thinks that she’s needy or annoying. But in playing her open and resilient, and choosing to have her walk bolding, even in the wrong direction, I think it certainly can come across as desperate or clingy, but our goal with Gigi was to play her as intelligently as possible, because I thought that it was important that she not stumble out of ignorance, but that the information that she has is misguiding.”

“The great thing about this [cast] is each of the actors really came aboard because they wanted to say something personal about life and love, rejection and hope. And what was also wonderful was that, as glamorous a group as it is, I think everyone really relished the idea of being able to play characters who were real, and not be part of a story that’s just a plot or concept. So often with romantic comedies, the characters are there simply to serve as a concept, and in this case, it’s really about the lives of these characters and their behavior.”

SCARLETT JOHANSSON on her character Anna, who’s falls in love with a married man, Ben (Bradley Cooper):
Scarlett Johansson“I think that the two characters really like each other, they connect and so you can’t really hate them because it’s not like they’re being vindictive, she’s not looking to steal a married man, and he’s not looking to have some affair. And they both go into it knowing that there’s a third person in the relationship, but Drew’s character says that sometimes these things happen and you don’t want to miss the boat, so who knows, this could be the person that you spend the rest of your life with. I think these two characters feel that way about each other.”

Bradley Cooper“They were both well written characters I think. I remember reading the script and reading my character and I thought, ‘I’d love to play that,’ because it is so easy to vilify him especially. But it’s not in the writing, in the writing you could just feel sorry for him and the wreckage that he’s caused, because he’s not really a man, but you can understand him.”

KEVIN CONNOLLY (Conor) on working with such a great cast:
“For me, the whole thing was pretty humbling; just a great bunch of actors and one of them more professional than the next. Bradley and I were fortunate enough to get on pretty early on, before the big guns signed on, or we probably wouldn’t have gotten the roles. The whole thing was just great and everybody was fantastic to work with.”

“I think there’s something so great about Justin’s character, when your friends don’t coddle you but they’re honest. You think that you’re helping your friend by making them feel better, when really the truth will get them so much further in life; sage wisdom about how to keep evolving in relationships is fantastic.”

Justin Long“And sometimes that wisdom is so much simpler than what the person is actually looking for. People tend to over-analyze a lot in these situations and Ginny’s character’s a good example of that, just deconstructing it to the point where it doesn’t make any sense.”

“This is the most fun movie to talk about, because it’s fun to talk about love. We’re going in on another script called How To Be Single, because we have so many stories left.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © New Line Cinema
Feature © 2009 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #701, December 2008 cover

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