He's Just Not That Into You



Appealing but unsurprising romcom dispenses familiar wisdom.
  • Review Date: February 6, 2009
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Ultimately the movie reinforces the idea that being in a relationship is the key to happiness -- an iffy message at best. Many different types of relationships are portrayed, with different levels of happiness.

Positive role models

Both male and female characters are somewhat stereotypical -- many of
the men are portrayed as especially callow -- and both genders are
shown having problems reading the other's signals and sending mixed
messages. One male character is brutally honest in evaluating a woman's
love life, but she ultimately appreciates and learns from his candor. Some characters seem to believe that getting married and/or being in a relationship is the only way to be happy. One character has an affair.


Couples yell in a few scenes; in a fit of rage, a woman throws a mirror on the floor and breaks it.


Couples kiss, make out, and discuss sex. A woman disrobes off-camera and jumps into the water to skinny dip after she propositions a married man, though viewers don't actually see any sensitive body parts. A couple kisses and fondles each other in an office; later, a woman straddles a man in the same office and they presumably make love (but it's not shown).


Language includes several "s--t"s, a couple of uses of "f--k," "suck," "ass," "bullsh--t," "a--holes," "boobs," "dick," and "oh my God."


Brands/logos for cigarettes (American Spirit is particularly prominent), beer, and a few other products (Crest WhiteStrips) are shown. The movie is based on a popular self-help book by the same name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character lies about smoking in secret; some casual/social drinking and smoking at parties, restaurants, and bars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this romantic comedy, while often charming, reinforces the idea that being in a relationship is the surest way to be happy. Both male and female characters conform to fairly standard romcom "types," and while the movie attempts to shed fresh light on the ups and downs of dating, it all boils down to how men and women long for someone to love. Expect some mild nudity (nothing sensitive shown), swearing, and social drinking. The question of whether or not one character is smoking in secret plays a significant role in the movie. One storyline deals with infidelity, and there are a few heated exchanges between couples.

What's the story?

Inspired by the best-selling self-help book from Sex and the City writers Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU follows the romantic ups and downs of several interconnected Baltimore characters. Taking center stage is loveable "girl next door" Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), who just wants to find the man of her dreams. But, sadly, she can't read guys' signals. After a ho-hum date with Conor (Kevin Connolly), it takes Conor's buddy, Alex (Justin Long), to set her straight, delivering the film's titular message: If a guy wants to spend time with you, he'll "make it happen." Otherwise, forget it. Meanwhile, Conor's in love with singer/yoga instructor Anna (Scarlett Johansson), who's hooked on Ben (Bradley Cooper), who happens to be married to Gigi's colleague, the high-strung Janine (Jennifer Connelly). Their office friend, Beth (Jennifer Aniston), is having relationship issues, too; her longtime boyfriend, Neil (Ben Affleck), loves her to pieces but just won't marry her. Rounding out the ensemble is Anna's pal, Mary (Drew Barrymore), who spends more time with her gay co-workers than with dates and who's befuddled by "advances" in technology -- texting, MySpace, email, voicemail -- that allow everyone to be in touch but seem to hinder actual connections.

Is it any good?


For a romantic comedy filled with predictable characters, HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU is surprisingly entertaining. The A-list ensemble definitely has something to do with that; they work well together to tell a story that, frankly, could have wound up a huge clichéd mess. Instead, it's pleasant and occasionally even perceptive. Goodwin, who has the heftiest part by a small margin, anchors the movie with a performance that's likable and empathetic. Her male counterpart, Long, is surprisingly affecting, too. He could easily have become a one-dimensional stereotype as the scold explaining how a woman should be able to tell if a man's not interested. And, as the wronged wife, Connelly adds some much-needed gravitas.

But for all that, the movie isn't particularly memorable. The book that inspired it has been out for a while (frankly, it was overexposed), and the "revelations" here hardly feel like epiphanies. The structure doesn't help; artificially divided into vignettes that ostensibly each explain a nugget of wisdom, the film lacks momentum. And with so many competing storylines, it also feels a bit crowded. Doing away with one thread -- or trimming a few -- would have allowed the others room to breathe and given the audience more opportunity to actually get to know some of its characters. As it stands, it feels a lot like speed dating, and audiences don't end up with Prince Charming in the end.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the film portrays dating and romance. Ask your teens if this is what they think adult relationships are really like.

  • Do the characters in the movie seem realistic, or are they exaggerated

  • "types"? Are men really that unable to communicate? Are they really

  • that insensitive? And is it really true that women can't -- or won't --

  • read their signs?

  • Do you think the women in the movie are more or less

  • stereotyped than the men? Is that typical in Hollywood romantic

  • comedies?

  • What do you think of the role that cigarettes and

  • smoking play in the film? What's the impact of seeing smoking in movies?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 6, 2009
DVD release date:June 2, 2009
Cast:Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson
Director:Ken Kwapis
Studio:New Line
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content and brief strong language

This review of He's Just Not That Into You was written by

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written bymiamia123 September 19, 2009


this was a very confusing movie. all the characters and really there wasnt much of a plot. i hated how everyone talked about sex as if it was something you have to have to be in a serious relationship. they said lines like "she's not having sex with me, i dont know what it means, i think i should break up with him". there was a few good role models, and a few bad. there was a lot of counterism ex. american spirit, crest whitestrips, kroger, ect. they used VERY BAD LANGUAGE! this should not be seen! f--k, s--t, bi--h, a-shole, bulls--t
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bysunshine35 June 20, 2009
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byPhilly30 February 26, 2009

Pretty Good---See if Just for Bradley Cooper!

All of us have been poor Gigi at one time or another. Great film to see with your girlfriends or best gay male friend. Probably not for under a mature 12 year old---14 year old. Will have to drag your bf/husband---definitely chick flick. Overall very good---thought it might be better. Favorite line was from Scarlett Johannson who said about Bradley Cooper---you a$$ makes me want to dry hump. That is about as "language" as it gets---and she was right. :)


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