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He's Just Not That Into You(2009)
A group of interconnected, Baltimore-based twenty- and thirtysomethings navigate their various relationships from the shallow end of the dating pool through the deep, murky waters of married life, trying to read the signs of the opposite sex--and hoping to be the exceptions to the "no-exceptions"; rule. Gigi just wants a man who says he'll call--and does--while Alex advises her to stop sitting by the phone. Beth wonders if she should call it off after years of committed singlehood with her boyfriend, Neil, but he doesn't think there's a single thing wrong with their unmarried life. Janine's not sure if she can trust her husband, Ben, who can't quite trust himself around Anna. Anna can't decide between the sexy married guy, or her straightforward, no-sparks standby, Conor, who can't get over the fact that he can't have her. And Mary, who's found an entire network of loving, supportive men, just needs to find one who's straight.
For more about He's Just Not That Into You and the He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray release, see He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on June 1, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper
Director: Ken Kwapis
» See full cast & crew
He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray Review
A flawed but amusing modern romantic comedy arrives on Blu-ray...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, June 1, 2009
Based on the wildly popular New York Times bestseller of the same name by Sex and the City scribes Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, television director Ken Kwapis' well-cast romantic comedy, He's Just Not That Into You, made as big a splash in theaters earlier this year as the book did on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2004. The film was delayed twice after principle photography wrapped in 2007, but it gave its filmmakers more time to tinker with its structure and the studio more time to find a profitable date for its debut. That date turned out to be February 6th, a mere week before Valentine's Day. Pulling in more than $165 million worldwide, He's Just Not That Into You proved romantic comedies are just as bankable now as they were in their late '80s, early '90s heyday.
But it takes more to become a genre classic than an advantageous release date and a talented ensemble cast... it takes more than a triple-digit box office run to stand next to the likes of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Annie Hall, When Harry Met Sally, While You Were Sleeping, or About a Boy. It takes heart, winning dialogue, and a sharp, funny script worthy of its witty genre forebearers.
He's Just Not That Into You bobs and weaves its way through the lives of nine lovelorn yuppies living in Baltimore: Gigi (Big Love's Ginnifer Goodwin), a bubbly, naive young woman searching for a soulmate; Alex (Justin Long), a brash bar owner whose blunt but sage advice gives her fresh perspective; Neil (Ben Affleck), a soft-spoken romantic whose aversion to marriage may cost him the love of his life; Beth (Jennifer Aniston), torn between Neil's comfort and her desire for a more committed relationship; Janine (Jennifer Connelly), a slick-haired ice queen obsessed with her home renovation; Ben (Bradley Cooper), a well-intentioned husband who begins to develop a wandering eye; Anna (Scarlett Johansson), a meek singer who becomes the object of his budding affections; Conor (Entourage's Kevin Connolly), a former flame pining for her undivided attention; and Mary (executive producer Drew Barrymore), a newspaper editor struggling with the world of online dating. As the strangers and lovers meet and part Magnolia style, connected to each other in ways they can't possibly comprehend, the stars align and lead them towards a more satisfying existence.
To cut to the chase, He's Just Not That Into You doesn't live up to more notable classics of the genre. It not only falls flat on more than one occasion (the random stories that separate each segment of the film are decidedly hit-or-miss), a small handful of characters (Anna chief among them) are far less interesting than others, its script relies on too many chance encounters and contrived scenarios, and its vision of Baltimore is too sleek and metropolitan. That's not to say it's a bad film at all -- to the contrary, my wife and I laughed out loud quite a few times, nodded knowingly at the truisms presented over the course of its multifaceted storyline, and genuinely felt invested in the lives of two-thirds of its characters -- I just would have preferred the film had it focused solely on Gigi, Alex, Neil, Beth, Janine, and Ben. I also find it hilarious that it's being billed as a "perfect date movie." Based on its rather barbed and pointed observations about relationships and love (as well as the stability and honesty therein), I imagine the film will plant countless seeds of doubt and be responsible for quite a few breakups. Sure, it's amusing, heart-wrenching, and inevitably uplifting, but beware... it just might leave your significant other with the sneaking suspicion that you have something to hide.
Ultimately, modern rom-com fans and Sex and the City regulars will find themselves on familiar hallowed ground. He's Just Not That Into You isn't as satisfying as recent entries in the former and isn't as searing as the best episodes of the latter, but its exploration of the darker recesses of the human heart as well as the tragedy of particular pairings elevate it above the norm. Cynics will hate the film far more than I did and optimists will probably enjoy it that much more. My recommendation? Give it a chance and see if it's your type.
He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray, Video Quality
He's Just Not That Into You features an attractive 1080p/VC-1 high definition transfer that, despite a few minor issues, looks fantastic. Kwapis and cinematographer John Bailey's palette frequently shifts between gorgeous summer blues and rich autumn hues, but the effect is never jarring or problematic. Skintones are natural regardless of interior lighting or outdoor exposure, nighttime scenes offer up a series of thick shadows and deep blacks, and primaries are strong, enhancing the already-three-dimensional picture. Contrast is a bit hot anytime the camera boards Neil's boat, but anything less would undermine the authenticity of the sun bearing down on his back. Detail is impressive as well; not razor-sharp, mind you, but perfectly suited to the filmic nature of the original print. Sure, textures are ever-so-soft here and there, but any perceived shortcoming in clarity is erased upon examining the transfer as a whole. If I have any complaint, it's that the aforementioned shadows are too thick, often absorbing background detail in one fell swoop. It isn't overtly distracting per se, but elements like Connelly's hair and an assortment of little black dresses, sweaters, and overcoats tend to merge with the darkest corners of a room and form amorphous inkblots.
Delineation despair aside, the image sparkles: banding is a no-show, source noise isn't a factor, grain is faint and fitting, and artifacting is rarely an issue (although I did notice a few errant bursts in the bright skies during sea-faring scenes). Some minor edge enhancement makes its presence known (particularly during Conor's open-house), but its brief appearances are fairly negligible. All things considered, Warner's transfer will thoroughly please rom-com fans and won't arm genre critics with much AV-related ammunition.
He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray, Audio Quality
No, Warner's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track isn't going to set a new bar for lossless audio and, no, it isn't going to give audiophiles the earth-moving experience they so crave. What it will do though is satisfy anyone expecting the sort of rom-com sonics a film about nine chatty thirty and forty-somethings can possibly provide. Dialogue is crisp and intelligible, nicely prioritized, and effortlessly woven into the mix at large. And while busy street corners and crowded cafes are a tad lifeless compared to Alex's bar (which takes advantage of the rear speakers), the soundfield is really quite immersive considering the abundance of hushed apartment buildings and neat-n-tidy offices. There isn't a block in Baltimore with traffic this sparse, but I'm glad I didn't have to filter out rampant street noise while watching the characters deal with their inner turmoil and weepy revelations. More importantly, pans are silky smooth, directionality is convincing, and LFE support injects a healthy amount of weight and presence into the proceedings. All in all, He's Just Not That Into You sounds as good as I imagine it could. It doesn't suffer from any glaring technical deficiencies, it handles everything tossed its way with ease and, aside from the inherent limitations of an uneventful, front-heavy soundscape, it suits the tone of the film wonderfully.
He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
He's Just Not That Into You doesn't offer much in the supplemental department, arriving on Blu-ray with less than an hour of shallow special features. Granted, all of the video content is presented in high definition, but the package would have been far more effective if it included a writers' commentary or, had the stars aligned, an ensemble cast commentary.
He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Sappy? Sure. Predictable? Definitely. Charming? Against all odds, it is. He's Just Not That Into You serves up an infectious concept, a talented ensemble cast, and a series of engaging characters. The film's script could have used another rewrite or two (to jettison its pesky Sex and the City-lite vibe), but my wife and I had a good time with it nonetheless. Warner's Blu-ray edition boasts an excellent video transfer and faithful TrueHD audio, and only comes up short in regards to its small collection of underdeveloped, underwhelming special features. In the end, rom-com junkies will have a better time with this one than most, making it a solid rental and a decent purchase.
He's Just Not That Into You: Other Editions
He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray, News and Updates
• He's Just Not That Into You Coming to Blu-ray - March 30, 2009
Warner Home Video has announced that they will bring 'He's Just Not That Into You' to Blu-ray on June 2nd, day-and-date with the DVD release. This star-studded film will be presented in 2.40:1 1080p VC-1 accompanied by a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. A digital copy ...
He's Just Not That Into You Blu-ray Screenshots
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