If you’ve ever seen a corporate training video on sexual harassment, you have seen this movie. Sure, it took No. 1 spot at the box office with $27.5 million opening weekend, but most likely that was brilliant marketing at work along with the names of popular actors.
Considering it’s based on a relationship self-help book written by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, it has no substance or relevance and feels more like it’s based on a note card with the message ‘if a guy doesn’t call, he’s not interested.” ‘
Directed by Ken Kwapis, it has no plot and aimlessly jumps from character to character. The format is choppy and disconnected, and the addition of a few ‘real interview’ inserts make it even more fragmented.’
The characters are too superficial and generic.’ For a movie more than two hours long, it falls short on creating a connection with any one of its 10 characters, whose relationships all feel forced.
One of the characters, Gigi, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, embodies every stereotype about a depressingly insecure and clueless woman desperate to find someone (or just anyone) who will tolerate her. Full of self-delusion, she’s incapable of making up her own mind.
After a blind date with a Realtor (Kevin Connolly), she starts obsessing over whether he’ll call or not. Of course, he never does, which gives her a chance to become best buddies with bar manager Alex (Justin Long), who seems to have all the answers.
The next stereotype is of a seductive temptress, Anna (Scarlett Johansson), who’s after the husband (Bradley Cooper) of an unhappily married and equally clueless woman played by a very intense Jennifer Connelly.
The movie hits a new low when Connelly’s character blames herself that her husband is cheating because she’s not as fun as she used to be.
Here’s a less-than-brilliant quote: Mary (Drew Barrymore, executive producer of the film) tells Anna, ‘What if you meet the love of your life and you’re already married to someone else? Are you supposed to let them pass by?’ Are you serious?
Barrymore’s character has a very small part, which makes it too obvious that all these famous names were tossed together with the sole purpose of attracting an audience.
There are some truths to the insecurities of women and men alike when it comes to dating, but this movie over-generalizes too much and repeats the same tired points too many times.
The only attempt at a somewhat romantic story is the one between Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck’s characters, who’ve been in a relationship for seven years with no prospect of marriage because Affleck’s character doesn’t believe in marriage.
It might have worked better with a narrower focus. There are a few small moments of comic relief, but not enough to carry the movie. Toward the end, a couple of feel-good moments are crammed together in an attempt to salvage the mess.
The intent of the movie is to provide dating insight. but the execution is ineffective.