Rom-coms—you can’t live with them, & I don’t know about you, but I personally would not want khổng lồ conceive of a world without them. Now that social distancing is keeping many of us inside for the foreseeable future, they have gone from “fun Sunday-night distraction” khổng lồ “manna from heaven.”

When self-isolation started, I couldn’t stomach anything more lovey-dovey than Nora Ephron’s Julie & Julia, mostly out of fear that I would never again get lớn a) leave my house or b) engage in a thắm thiết relationship. Now, though, I’m starved enough of company to be ready for scripted love. Bring on the backlit kisses và engagement rings hidden in Champagne flutes!

On that note, today we’re diving in to recapture the magic of 2009’s He’s Just Not That Into You, which is currently streaming on Netflix. I’ve seen this movie before, but never as a fully formed adult. Let’s see what kind of scrapes this extremely homogenous group of kids gets into, shall we?


The opening sequence of this movie, in which a little girl is shoved and teased by a boy her age who supposedly has a crush on her, is having a very different effect on me than it did when I was 15; now, I’m resolving khổng lồ raise my future daughter in a protective bubble where nobody can access or bother her in any way, shape, or form.

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Next, we’re treated to lớn a series of vignettes about how all women, everywhere, from sorority houses to kitchens khổng lồ army barracks lớn remote village huts, are bonded in their desire to lớn rationalize the behavior of men who suck. It’s an intelligence-insulting interlude, & I would lượt thích to be even harsher about this message, but unfortunately, the fundamental premise of this movie—the fact that sometimes “he’s just not that into you”—kind of holds up, even if its heteronormative framework doesn’t. If someone isn’t calling, texting, or asking khổng lồ see you (pre-quarantine days, that is), they are probably not worth your time! I can’t deny that my group of mostly queer friends does our fair share of “maybe they’re not calling you because they’re ” rationalization.

We’re immediately introduced lớn the perky and perennially single Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin), who’s on a date with a forgettable real estate bro named Conor (Kevin Connolly), who is clearly Just Not That Into Gigi, because he’s Actually Into his friend, free-spirited aspiring singer Anna (Scarlett Johansson), who’s Actually Into Ben (Bradley Cooper), who’s miserably married khổng lồ Janine (Jennifer Connelly), who’s friends with Beth (Jennifer Aniston), who’s dating Neil (Ben Affleck), who won’t propose. Phew. Also, Gigi is totally Just Friends with cute, sardonic local bar owner Alex (Justin Long), and Drew Barrymore is just sort of around, for some reason? Okay, that’s everyone.

I just want lớn point out that Scarlett Johansson & Bradley Cooper’s meet-cute happens when he lets her go ahead of him in line at the grocery store. When my porous adolescent brain absorbed this movie over a decade ago, I was convinced that if I just found a way to look lượt thích Scarlett Johansson, men would also give me cutsies and then fall in love with me. (Update: I’m pretty sure this isn’t a thing.) They get khổng lồ talking, & Bradley Cooper offers lớn help her with her music career, which is a—if not the—definitive red flag.



This movie’s fatal flaw is uniting a cast of extremely charming people và not enough onscreen time. That said, I’m hooked.

One of Jennifer Aniston’s main plot points in this film is being upset that her little sister got engaged before her, a staple of thắm thiết comedy insecurity that I personally can’t understand. When my best friend of 12 years got engaged last week, my immediate reaction was not “I’m going khổng lồ die alone,” but “Wow, I can’t wait to get life-alteringly drunk at the wedding.”

Ginnifer Goodwin leaves Justin Long a rambling voicemail và blathers on about how there are no gender roles anymore, dropping a transphobic joke in the process and reminding us just how much humor has (not) really changed.

Now we’re at the bar Justin Long owns, with Busy Philipps making a cameo as a flirty server! (Fun fact: Philipps’s husband, Marc Silverstein, cowrote this movie.) Ginnifer Goodwin shows up lớn fake-return a kém chất lượng pen khổng lồ Kevin Connolly—who isn’t even there, but happens lớn be Justin Long’s buddy (apparently, everyone in this movie knows one another)—and Ginnifer & Justin argue about whether she’s the exception khổng lồ the “a guy will pursue you if he’s interested” rule. (Sidenote: Remember bars? This one looks a little fratty, but I’d still give anything to lớn be sitting in a corner booth, sucking down a weak $14 gin and tonic và observing the lost art of heterosexual flirting.)

Drew Barrymore appearance! It’s not important that you know her character’s name, because she is ineffably and unalterably Drew Barrymore in all her scenes. In this one, she’s getting pedicures with Scarlett Johansson (another fiction of womanhood: I have never in my life gotten a pedicure with a female friend).

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Real quote from Jennifer Aniston to lớn Ben Affleck: “I need you to stop being nice khổng lồ me unless you’re going khổng lồ marry me after.” They get in a fight & break up. Meanwhile, Jennifer Connelly is living a lie with Bradley Cooper, who’s lying to lớn her about a) smoking và b) being in love with Scarlett Johansson. (Honestly, the former is worse, in my opinion. Her dad died of lung cancer; he knows how much she hates smoking!)



I forgot that Scarlett Johansson teaches yoga in this movie. To quote Carrie Fisher in When Harry Met Sally: “Thin. Pretty. Big tits. Your basic nightmare.” Bradley Cooper attends her class, they go skinny-dipping, one thing leads khổng lồ another, và I can’t even muster the energy lớn pretend to lớn care about this plotline.

Ginnifer Goodwin pauses a makeout to call Justin Long for advice, và he pauses a makeout khổng lồ answer the phone and help her, because they looove each other (spoiler, but if you didn’t see this coming a mile away, this must be your first rom-com rodeo). They don’t know that yet, though, so Ginnifer Goodwin is still soliciting advice: “So now I’m just supposed khổng lồ run from every guy who doesn’t like me? There’s not going to be anybody left.” Everyone in this movie needs intensive cognitive behavioral therapy!

Blaming a domestic worker for something because you’re deflecting your real issues with your shitty husband? Traditionally a great look! It’s not Javier’s crew smoking, Jennifer Connelly…it’s your husband, Bradley Cooper. The man has frosted tips, for God’s sake!


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There’s a whole subplot where Kevin Connolly pretends to lớn be gay to lớn sell houses, but I’m not even going to lớn touch that one.

Scarlett Johansson and Drew Barrymore vày another inauthentic female errand together—buying shampoo—and I can’t help but be struck by how little this movie is trying to humanize Scarlett Johansson’s character, who is basically a super-hot home-wrecker.

Bradley Cooper tells Jennifer Connelly he’s been cheating on her and they get into a massive, marriage-ending fight at home Depot, which is actually quite sad.

Jennifer Aniston’s dad has a heart attack at her sister’s wedding (also sad!), and her shitty brothers-in-law refuse to help take care of him during his recovery, underscoring one of the movie’s more subtle theses: that no marriage at all would probably be better than an unhappy marriage. Meanwhile, Ginnifer Goodwin decides Justin Long is in love with her and “cohosts” a buổi tiệc nhỏ with him in order khổng lồ express her feelings. It doesn’t go well and, once again, I find myself experiencing genuine emotions as a direct result of this movie.


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Okay, this is genuinely gross: Bradley Cooper is hooking up with Scarlett Johansson in his office when Jennifer Connelly comes by, so he forces her lớn hide in a closet in her underwear. This guy hates women! Kick him to lớn the curb once and for all, ladies. Jennifer deals with it by shattering a gigantic mirror in her house, & Scarlett đơn hàng with it by actually giving Kevin Connolly a chance. Whatever works! (Of course, Scarlett ultimately ends up once again dumping Kevin khổng lồ follow her own path, which I kind of get. No offense lớn Kevin. Plus, he ends up with Drew Barrymore, so things work out pretty well for him.)

Ben Affleck shows up & starts quietly taking care of Jennifer Aniston’s dad, doing laundry & putting healthy food in the fridge, which is exactly what she needed to know he’s the one she wants khổng lồ be with, engagement ring or no. (Don’t worry! This is a lãng mạn comedy; they still get engaged.) It appears these two crazy kids are going lớn make it. The same can be said of Justin Long & Ginnifer Goodwin, after he finally humbles himself & tells her he loves her.


Well, that’s a wrap. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve investigated toxic gender norms, & all I have left lớn show for it is two hours of my life gone, in addition to lớn what I think will be a lasting & not entirely voluntary crush on Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long as a couple. Until next time!