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Movie Review

He’s Just Not That Into You

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and brief strong language.

Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance, Drama, Comedy
2 hr. 9 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 6, 2009 (wide—3,000 theaters)
Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment
Relevant Issues
Copyright, New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment

What are the biblical guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

Why won’t my parents allow me to single-date? Answer

True love

What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

ADULTERY—What does the Bible say about adultery? Answer

Marriage in the Bible

Christian Divorce and Remarriage—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer

Divorce in the Bible

What does it mean to be “the husband of one wife”? Answer

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Some people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?

Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Featuring: Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long, Kevin Connolly, Sasha Alexander, Kris Kristofferson, more »
Director: Ken Kwapis
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” “License to Wed
Producer: Flower Films, Internationale Filmproduktion Blackswan, Drew Barrymore, Michael Beugg, Michael Disco, Toby Emmerich, Nancy Juvonen, Gwenn Stroman, Michele Weiss
Distributor: New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment

On playgrounds across the globe, little boys are picking on little girls, whose well-intentioned mothers lovingly inform their offspring that the little boys who single them out for abusive attentions are really treating them this way because the boys like them.

Neil (Ben Affleck) does not believe in marriage, but is perfectly content in the committed, long-term relationship with Beth (Jennifer Aniston) who is increasingly discontent with the lack of a defined commitment that comes with marriage.

[Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer]

Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Janine (Jennifer Connelly) engage in daily cubicle commiseration about their relationship woes, as Gigi can’t seem to get past the second date with any of an endless string of beaus, though her prospects for ending her continuing heartache may be brightening under the tutelage of her new, unlikely friendship with Alex (Justin Long) who sheds a more realistic, if somewhat jaded, light on the inner workings of men.

Janine is struggling through an increasingly shaky marriage to a man who she feels has become deceptive. Janine’s husband, Ben (Bradley Cooper) is finding it difficult to resist the beautiful and seductive Anna (Scarlett Johansson) who, in spite of being involved with Connor (Kevin Connolly) likes the idea of a potential relationship with an attractive and discontented married man.

Anna’s friend, Mary (Drew Barrymore) encourages Anna to pursue Ben, pointing out that in spite of his marriage, Ben and Anna may be “soul mates” and could live a good life together if he is willing to divorce his wife. As for her own life, Mary is completely burnt out on the new wave of casual acquaintance by way of texting and MySpacing and just wants an “organic” relationship with a flesh and blood person.

Female audiences will likely relate to one or more characters, as what Beth, Mary, Janine, Gigi and Anna all have in common is that they just want a guy who is really into them, yet they have no idea what that sort of love or attention looks like or how to find it. This lack of understanding leads them to engage in behavior that is pitiful, destructive, and at times quite amusing.

[What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer]

The notably star-spangled cast of this film does not disappoint in delivering solid performances, both comedic and dramatic. I admit that I approached this movie somewhat skeptical that the filmmakers might have relied too heavily on massive star power, and we would be left with a mess of experienced talent foundering amidst a weak script. On this point, I was pleasantly surprised. The spider’s web of plot lines weave seamlessly from one story to the next, and although there are nine lead roles, each character sketch is completed sufficiently so that one is able to sympathetically view the entire storyline without frustration. This fact, in itself, makes the screenplay a noteworthy feat.

While there are many immoral situations played out on the screen, for the most part the immorality is portrayed as harmful behavior, rather than presented in a favorable light.

Though there are no explicit scenes of sex or nudity, there are numerous gratuitous shots of Scarlett Johansson's body in various states of undress. A particularly disturbing scene is played out when a man’s girlfriend is shuffled into a closet, as his wife enters the room, and the husband and wife proceed to engage in an intimate encounter, while the girl continues hiding in the room. This is portrayed as a negative event in the film.

As in most romantic comedies of this century, there is a strong thread of homosexuality which is characterized as an amusing, harmless and acceptable lifestyle choice.

[What’s wrong with being gay? Answer]

On a spiritual plain, this film is a sad depiction of how people struggle to find meaning and fulfillment in their lives through other people or through themselves, when they are not anchored by a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

For a truly uplifting commentary on male/female relationships or marriage, I would recommend staying home and renting “Fireproof” instead.

“Of course he likes you. He’s only behaving as though he doesn’t like you because that’s just how boys are.” Though this may be a true sentiment during kindergarten, this film asserts that a girl might cling to this advice the rest of her life, perhaps hoping, more than really believing, that underneath all of the brush-offs, stand-ups, and put-downs, guys actually like them. The reality this film drives home is that if his actions declare he’s not into you, he’s just not that into you.

Violence: None / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—This movie was really cute. I went to see it with my girlfriends and loved it. The relationship struggles were sad, but it was good to see something other than a fairy tale. Granted, these weren’t the most biblical people, but it showed how lives are incomplete without Christ.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tracy, age 33 (USA)
Positive—I rented this movie, so I had the benefit of fast-forwarding the parts that I didn’t wish to expose myself to. I also watched it by myself, so at least I didn’t have to feel embarrassed by those scenes. I can actually remember my mom telling me that if a boy picks on you, it’s because he likes you. Interesting! Either way, of course there’s the disgusting adulterous husband, who totally gets dumped by his girlfriend and wife, so I felt he got what was coming to him. I think it is good for some woman to see and understand that being treated poorly is not acceptable and to not put up with it. Having a higher standard is how you will find someone who you can be happy with. The ending is sweet and priceless and despite all the bad reviews and some ridiculous stereotypes, I mostly enjoyed this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Shannon, age 28 (Canada)
Neutral—The movie was really different then most movies you would see around Valentine’s Day. I liked it though. It was a little bit weird, in some situations. I don’t recommend seeing it with a guy, but with your girlfriends I think it is fine. The movie was very interesting, but not the best I’ve seen
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Lily, age 25 (USA)
Neutral—I enjoyed some aspects of this movie as a woman—namely that I could see myself in certain characters at different ages and stages of growing up. But while the movie keeps driving the point home that if he doesn’t seem to be into you—guess what he isn’t that !- (SPOILER) in the end it goes for the steroetypical fairytale ending that it has set out to disprove from the beginning by having the guy who clearly stated he wasn’t into the girl suddenly have an epiphany in the last 10 minutes of the movie that he can’t live without her! It sends a mixed message to young impressionable girls watching this movie.

I did like that the writers gave the cheated on wife a happy ending in that rather than remain with an unrepentant cheater, she chose to set healthy boundaries and not let herself be trampled on.

I did not like the portrayal of the gay lifestyle as something to be encouraged and accepted as normal, nor did I like Scarlett Johansson’s character. (it also disturbs me why this actress seems to enjoy making a name for herself by repeatedly playing “bad girl” characters) Almost everytime her character appeared onscreen, it left a bad taste in my mouth—gross is a pretty good description. There was no need to be that gratuitous in the amount of flesh. The writers could have implied that her character was doing inappropiate things without subjectiing the audience to all of this.

In fact, if they had left out the things I mentioned above that I didn’t like, this actually would have been a decent movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jennifer, age 32 (USA)
Negative—This movie follows the lives/relationship drama of several characters. While the majority of this movie is cute and lightly entertaining, the development of the married man who cheats on his wife completely ruined the movie for me. While I do not find immorality entertaining, I can look past lots of things of which I do not approve in movies, in order to enjoy the story/film. With this movie, however, I simply could not look past what was going on before me. The man’s relationship with the “other woman” was disgusting and disturbing. Did anyone else find it odd that the most sexually graphic scenes were those between the married man and his girlfriend? I certainly did. It was so unnecessary.

The next thing I say is a movie-climax buster, so if you want to see the movie and care about the ending stop reading—I found it disturbing that the only relationship that did not work out in the end was the married couple’s! Like I said, I can look past some immorality in movies to enjoy them, but this relationship was so gross to me that it ruined what could have been a cute, fun, entertaining movie (that might have even had some good advice for people who have a hard time with relationships!).

I understand that the sanctity of marriage is not observed very often in our culture, but it made me very sad to see such a negative portrayal of marriage. It made me feel gross.

My recommendation is for NO ONE, Christian or not, to see this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Breanna, age 25 (USA)
Negative—…I went to see the movie with my husband, expecting to be uplifted. Instead, much like the sentiment expressed by the previous comment, I left feeling gross. This movie made a mockery of marriage. I enjoy the actresses and agree that the moviemaking quality was good, but the fact that it shows so little respect for marriage left a bad taste in my mouth. I would not recommend single people or married people watching this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Ann, age 26 (USA)
Negative—This film painted a very negative image of marriage and I left the theater feeling awful inside. Despite the filmmakers attempt at a happy ending for just about everyone, I just could not get over being sad for the woman whose husband had an affair with a much younger woman. The sad thing is, Scarlett Johansen’s character tells her friend that she is attracted to the married man, and her friend basically tells her to go for it anyway. There is also a couple that has lived together for 7 years, but the man doesn’t want to commit to marriage because he thinks it is unnecessary. I also didn’t like the storyline and felt that it gave negative stereotypes of both sexes, especially the men.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Melissa, age 26 (USA)
Negative—I absolutely hated it!!!… saw it theaters and wished I hadn’t wasted my money. It had only one plot to the story that was kind of cute and fun—with the bar tender and the lady. Had a lot to do with an affair between a young lady and a married man. Had some sex in it, and I just didn’t even like the comedy in it. Wish I could say something positive for it, but it was just a waste of money and time :(
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Brooke, age 18 (USA)
Negative—This movie had the potential to be a cute story, but it was just too offensive to be stomached. It seemed to be a movie about empty people desperately trying to get fulfilled by other people—only to end up emptier. There’s no redeeming value to this movie. It puts down marriage and doesn’t even have a clue about what true relationships should be. It’s very sad. Even the married man who I thought was going to fight temptation ended up repeatedly opening the door to adultery, and oops, guess what? He fell right into it. And the tempter (Scarlett) was basically encouraged by her friend who works for a gay magazine to lure a married man into adultery (enough said). It’s pro-homosexuality. It’s totally inappropriate as PG-13. It’s closer to R. An s-word is used almost every couple minutes, an f-word is used, and the Lord’s name is used… After a while I had to shut it off. Couldn’t even stomach it till the end. It’s not worth your time. Save yourself the grief. I wish I did.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Marianne, age 28 (USA)
Negative—I watched this movie while on a 9 hour plane flight, as my movie choices were very limited. I would not recommend it. Too much sexuality, and it encourages unfaithfulness and cheapens love. Do not watch it. It has a very negative message—opposite of family values and what Christ teaches about sex, love and marriage.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Sylvia, age 26 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—This was the #1 worst movie I’ve ever seen “period.”… It was full of this guy is married but he's messing around with his other “friend” who is a girl and it’s all about girls and guys jumping into bed. I usually am not excited for movies to be over, but this one I was dying for it to end! Not only was it objectionable, it was just stupid. The plot was not interesting, in fact there wasn’t really even a plot. It was overall a terrible movie. Do not waste your time and money on this movie, I mean, who wants to see a girl undress and jump into a pool with a married guy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Brianna, age 15 (USA)