As Friday nears, I know what you’re thinking: “Why is my girlfriend going to drag me to see that damn ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’?” Well, even though the new movie is based on the pretty female centric novel of the same title by comedian Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, members of the male gender will be relieved to learn the movie actually isn’t afraid to take the guy’s point of view in the world of misunderstood dating rituals.
A true ensemble romantic comedy (perhaps too ensemble), “He’s Just Not That Into You” includes many familiar faces including Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Justin Long and Kevin Connolly. The film’s central figure, however, is played by “Big Love’s” Ginnifer Goodwin whose character is slowly realizing that all the men she dates can be summed up in the six words that compose the movie’s title. Meanwhile, Connolly, Cooper and Affleck’s characters are all stuck in awkward situations or screwed up relationships that have no doubt caused you or your buddies to proclaim in frustration, “Yeah, I’m so not into her.”
Now, the picture does seem to make some clear cut assumptions on what men and women should take away from the other sex’s actions, but Barrymore, who is also an executive producer on the flick, admits she doesn’t believe there are any real rules when it comes to dating.
Speaking at a news conference for the film last month, she notes, “I think at a certain point something clicks and you”re just not willing to accept or give less than what your heart desires, or less than what you deserve. Your behavior changes, you run into that wall and you hit your head so many frickin” times that it”s just there and bloody on the floor, and you”re like, ‘I get it.””
A tad longwinded, Barrymore continues, “So, as much as I don”t think there are rules, I think there is sort of a good global case by case basis of how you should treat someone and how you want to be treated, and anything less. And these clichés? They are clichés for a reason, because they”re true and they”re happening so don”t buy into it.”
Johanson, who recently married Ryan Reynolds at the ripe old age of 23, plays a sexy young musician who — coincidence — falls for an older married guy played by Cooper. You can predict the messy ending, but when a reporter tried to tie her private life with the character she plays in the movie, the now brunette ingenue clearly wasn’t going there.
“Our process is an introspective one and it’s strange to share that with the general public, just as you probably wouldn’t want to tell us all about your own therapy sessions,” Johansson says. “In a way, acting is a very cathartic experience. You’re imparting your own personal experience into the characters you play. I’ve never quite been able to grasp the concept of giving away all of your secrets in a way and wanting to talk about your method and your process.”
And that was that.
Cooper, however, was more than happy to wax about his own moment where he realized “she” just wasn’t that into him. Earlier in his career he hosted a Discovery Channel show called “Globe Trekkers” and while on location in Peru, he had a moment of self realization that prompted him to make a dramatic proposal over the phone (because those always seem to work, right?).
“We got there late or something and so I hadn”t acclimatized and I had an oxygen tank on, and I was dating this girl at the time, and really I”d always been like, ‘No, once we graduate school we should just go our separate ways,” but I had clarity in Peru,” Cooper recalls. “So, I called her, which took ten minutes to figure out how to reach her in New York to tell her this mid-breath of oxygen, and she just was not on the same page. I was like, ‘Baby, I was up here and I just really think we should do this.'”
Goodwin asks, “You said ‘baby’?”
“I did, maybe that was my way. Maybe I was doomed from the start,” Cooper jokes.”
Continuing, Cooper says, “And she was not on the same page. I remember she said, ‘You know, that”s so interesting,” because we”d been apart for fifteen days, and she said, ‘I have actually really enjoyed myself.” She just saw a play the night before with like a famous actor who had seen her in the audience…”
Long interjects, “And you might as well say the actor”s name, because you did yesterday without hesitating.”
Sheepishly, Cooper says, “But, I felt bad, because I didn”t hesitate yesterday.”
“It was Dom DeLuise,” Long suggests going for the cheap laugh (didn’t work).
“Yeah, it was. It was what”s-his-name,” Cooper says, now embarrassed.
“Do you want me to say it? Of course, it was Gabriel Byrne,” Long reveals.
“No, it was Bruce Vilanch? God damn him,” Cooper says trying to save the anecdote. “Anyway that”s my story.”
“So, he got burned,” Long says summing it up. “That should be the title if you write that story up, ‘Bradley Cooper Gets Burned.'”
So, the assembled press and Cooper’s co-stars on the podium were left confused on what famous actor actually stole his girlfriend of the time, but we knew one thing: none of us would be titling our stories “Bradley Cooper Gets Burned.” Somebody’s got to tell Long that’s just not good click through.
“He’s Just Not That Into You” opens nationwide on Feb. 6.