It’s become very clear that women and men have a completely different way of thinking. We’ve had our suspicions over the years but now it’s out there and it’s been shouted loud and clear. The thing is, even though we understand it, there are many who can’t accept it and always consider themselves the exception to the rule. The first time I heard the expression ‘he’s just not that into you’ was in a Sex and the City episode, where Miranda gets enlightened by Carrie’s boyfriend. ‘Guys are simple, so if he likes you, he will call; if he doesn’t then he is just not that into you’. For the Miranda character, this was some kind of revelation but for the rest of womankind it took a little bit longer to sink in.
For this reason, in 2004, two writers from the Sex and the City writing group, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo published the ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ self-improvement book. Written in a simple way, Greg gives us the man’s perspective into dating and having a healthy relationship. The book was a huge success, mainly because it’s written with humour. Every chapter consists of a true story, a comment by Greg and then a comment by Liz explaining why it’s hard to follow Greg’s advice. In the end, every reader believes that there is still hope in finding someone who will fall truly and madly in love with her. You can’t read this book without laughing out loud, without relating yourself to the stories being read. It’s a book that speaks the truth, that confirms your own suspicions and speculations about how a man’s mind might work. Bottom line is that the book had all the necessary elements to become a bestseller. So, given the fact that it’s written by two screenwriters, it made a lot of sense to be adapted into a movie.
In 2009 the movie was released. The casting sounded more than promising with many A-list actors in it. Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore and many, many others. It was a tricky adaptation because the book’s not written based on specific characters, it’s based on stories. This means two things. That the reader may have not a specific image regarding the main characters but will develop a crystal clear sense of what the writers try to say and how they say it. And this was the point where the movie failed. When you are watching the film it’s like a jigsaw: many stories that are all about relationships. It’s the ‘cheating married’ guy, the ‘I don’t want to get married’ guy, the ‘no strings attached’ guy and the women that have to deal with all of these.
The film was missing the most important thing that made this book successful: humour. It’s Greg Behrendt’s irony that makes the reader keep reading. It was like having a male best friend looking after you. None of this appeared in the movie. It managed to show how difficult relationships are, how men and women think and act differently but no news there, where was the rest of it?
He’s Just Not That Into You (film) at IMDb
He’s Just Not That Into You (film) at Wikipedia
He’s Just Not That Into You (book) at Wikipedia
He’s Just Not That Into You (film) at Rotten Tomatoes
He’s Just Not That Into You (awards won and nominated for) at IMDb