Sunday, February 22, 2009

Calling Riot Grrls of Cinema!

I might take a nibble here or there from the ladies' plates of He's Just Not That Into You, but I'll still take Meg Ryan's entire meal in When Harry Met Sally any day of the week. She's ballsy, opinionated, and proves the skillful ease of fake orgasms. Unlike her neurotic but independent character, He's Just Not That Into You presents women who need men to tell them what women think and how to overcome their blind devotion to archaically patriarchal relationship dynamics. Can I get a "WTF?"

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed myself quite a bit watching this, and even told friends I would return to it again with them (although I thankfully never did). But for a book that shouts from the rooftop, "you are NOT the exception!," the film had no problem cradling women (and men) everywhere with the false hope that we are.

As an adaptation of a self-help book on relationships, the film proves a good narrativization of the original material. But, like my fellow feminist jouster, I couldn't help but want all the women of the film to stand up for themselves a bit more, take charge. "Pounce or bounce!" I kept silently screaming. And thank goodness a couple of them do, otherwise this film would have fallen horribly flat for me.

The cast is rather stellar, particularly for the genre (save for the never acceptable Scarlett Johannson). Justin Long and Ginnifer Goodwin have been favorites of mine since they co-starred in the 1990s television show, Ed, and Kevin Connolly from HBO's Entourage was well suited for the "nice guy." And the script was well thought out structurally - pretty well balanced and edited so as not to let any story line get too much screentime. Unfortunately, this also meant none developed too much depth, save for Ms. Goodwin's abyss of desperation.

As a date movie, I second my fellow jouster, Charley, in supporting it as a good 'cuddle up and watch other people's relationship issues and imagine you are protected from the drama of Hollywood.'

But I'll have to put a more solid foot in Linde's corner and question why in this age we couldn't have a He's Just Not That Into You where women say "F*%! this! I'm more important than a man's affection!"... whether he's into you or not.