Saturday, June 6, 2009

Reviewing 'He's just not that into you'; the book & the motion picture.

Although i'm just not that into reading self-help novels, this was my first exception. The six words that ring along the book which is its driving point has a magical appeal to every self doubting woman. As per the 'Sex & The City' sciptwriters, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, who dished out this bestseller, it is THE answer to most (although it contends to say all) of the problems and doubts women encounter in dating and relationships.

A very engaging read yet brace yourself to funnyman Greg's satirical tone and language in learning the reason to why you never heard from that cute guy; would your boyfriend keeptalking about his ex; would your longtime live-in not pop up THE question; would he not divorce the wife your lover's so unhappy with and zillion-like questions we've spent hours ruminating on and convincing ourselves of the excuses they make up or we conveniently devise for them. But for Greg, nothing is any more complex or simpler than, "He's just not that into you". Because if he was, he would find time to call, would want to sleep with you, talk about the future with you...the fairy tale love. However, the co-author begs (literally!) to differ in parts where she more humanely empathizes why it is hard to see it as simply as her 'been-there-done-that' colleague expects. Wherever Greg's rocket science six words sound cold, Liz fills in with a experienced insight to mostly prove the point that the six words saves a lot more time and a lot less heartbreak.

Sensitive scenarios involving marriage and extra-marital affairs were tackeled with more caution and less generalizability (with no reference to moral judgments: a wise decision). Yet the book doesn't and admits to not being able to answer the somewhat dismayed Liz's question, "Then who else is left to date? No one's perfect after all". Greg simply consoles that one shouldn't have to settle for very little, because of an imagined lack of better choices. In his words, "Don't waste the pretty!".

The movie adaptation is surprisingly not as peppy as one would think of a "chick flick", a label that the makers have deliberately denied and evaded. A full fledged STAR cast (notably Jennifer Aniston & Connely, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Drew Barrymore &, an adorable Ginnifer Goodwin) make up the network of interconnected lives in variedly complex dating/relationship situations. Rotten Tomatoes rightly reviews that the movie pays so little attention to each character's situation, thus, making them stereotypical. And I couldn't agree more that the lack of fullness in the script exploits the least out of the cast's acting prowess, making the movie bank quite exclusively on the star power (such a cliche' with Bollywood multi-starrers).

However, the movie was a required reformation of the book in putting men equally (less than more) in the same sticky situations. For Greg, guys are just assholes with a bad habit that women had to work around while, in fact, guys as much fall prey to the mixed signs and subjective interpretations. Another parallel I drew between the movie and the book is how it left you feeling. While the book sorta asks you to wait for that one, almost impossibly good chap, the movie ends in the delight one may find in the guy who was meant to be or breaking out of something that never was. I, for one, choose the second.

Yet with all the few disagreements and scrutiny kept aside, the six words have worked like a charm for me and that to me, is the point of the book: to move on! And the book/movie prescribes that the only way it works is to think of yourself as THE rule more than an exception.

1 comment:

  1. As I haven't actually read the book or seen the movie (the most recent romantic movie I've seen is '27 Dresses') I can't actually comment but it seems that you like the movie more than the book! Anyway glad to find out from your profile that you like Marjane Satrapi's books as well. Now that's something we have in common!
    Tutu Dutta Yean (on facebook)