2008 Certificate: 12

Synopsis

A pampered A-list of celebrity talent - Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson and, erm, Kris Kristofferson - play a set of affluent Baltimore yuppies (not Kris, obviously) who realise that money, swanky apartments and tastefully ripped jeans can't, like, buy you love. Sex and the City scribes Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo's script tears the covers off inifidelity, neediness, commitment fears and dubious interior decoration in an epic date movie.

Director

  • Ken Kwapis

Cast

  • Scarlett Johansson

  • Jennifer Connelly

  • Jennifer Aniston

  • Ben Affleck

  • Bradley Cooper

  • Ginnifer Goodwin

Review

The title reads He's Just Not That Into You yet it could equally have been Don't On Any Account Allow Your Preening Narcissism Convince You That You Are In Any Way A Remotely Valuable Catch For That Bloke You Met Last Night .

Sex and the City writers Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo's rom-com comes on strong with it's telling-it-how-it-is life lessons yet ultimately sinks into a soggy blancmange of over-engineered romantic brinkmanship and flaccid compromise.

It deals with the C-word - commitment, dallies with the L-word - love, flirts with the A-word - attitude...yet seems to primarily settle for the N-word - neediness.

The reigning queen of clinging neuroses is Gigi (Goodwin), a ditzy brunette whose romantic insecurities and wearying self-doubt dictate that her ring-tone is The Human League's Don't You Want Me.

Every word spouted by prospective boyfriends on first dates is analysed, weighed up and noted down by a girl who has a remarkable ability to freight these off-the-cuff comments with life-changing significance.

Elsewhere, Affleck walks out on Aniston and their distressed brick apartment when she inists that - after seven years - they tie the knot. Significantly, he doesn't find himself kipping on a put-down in a buddy's bedsit. No, sirree -he's got a yacht as a bolt-hole to nurse a bruised heart. An ocean-going yacht.

Jennifer Connelly and Bradley Cooper play an outwardly perfect couple - she a marketing whiz and he a music executive - whose designer life cloaks deep fissures in their sex-less (we learn) relationship.

The catalyst for Jen'n'Brad's break-up is over-upholstered yoga teacher Scarlett Johansson who snares her quarry by taking all her clothes off because, like, you know, she's kinda spontaneous.

Like most failing relationships, this seems to go on forever (two hours plus) and for every fresh insight there's a a welter of emotional cod-psychology, normally delivered by Justin Long's home-truth delivering bar owner and romantic sage.

There are bright spots (every love affair has them), particularly the jilted Aniston's run-in with a wicken male witch at the wedding of her sister who cheerfully instructs her "look at Al Pacino. Never been married. Happy as a clam."

Yet, it never really works. Despite the running time, some characters never get off the drawing board (pity Drew Barrymore, for instance), while although a few harsh loose ends are left flapping seems that Happy Valley was never happier.