Pop Culture, Scourge of the Onelys (Part 3 of 42,517): He’s Just Not That Into You June 10, 2009Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, As If!, Heteronormativity, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
Tags: bad movies, desperation, exceptions, fuck you, he's just not that into you, proposals, single stereotyping sucks, single women, stupidity
And, OMG, this friendly little kid to the right expresses exactly how I feel about the movie: Fuck you, HJNTIY!
Yup, it’s that bad. Not only for what it implies about single people (more on that in a moment), but for its horrible acting, lack of a compelling story, and general waste of my time.
In theory, the movie should be pro-Onely — I mean, what better way for single (hetero) women (and gay men?) everywhere to get to a “happy” place than to accept that sometimes, he’s (really) just not that into you – and to decide that that’s okay? Seems like a good premise. But instead, HJNTIY takes every stereotype about single people (especially single women) and conflates each one like a big ball of cotton-candy fluff, producing a lame series of (poorly connected) stories that ultimately repeat the same old (heteronormative) messages that we single people are so used to (not to mention tired of!) hearing:
- You’re not successful unless you’re happily married (or at least coupled).
- Life isn’t worth living unless you can find someone to share it with.
- Single people (especially women) are desperate losers with nothing better to do but wait for the next date (or phone call).
Here are a few (select) examples:
1. Jennifer Aniston plays a woman who is “stuck” in a long-term (7 year) relationship with a boyfriend (Ben Affleck) who doesn’t want to get (“doesn’t believe in getting”) married. Her first line in the movie?
You don’t ever feel like we aren’t going against nature to not be getting married?
Aniston eventually gives Affleck the marriage ultimatum, and then they break up because he can’t commit. But by the end of the movie, they are back together again and — big surprise! — he proposes.
2. At one point, there’s a “bitch chorus” (thanks for the terminology, co-viewer Mike) of overweight, unattractive women who complain about being alone and describe the weight they’ve gained since being single (not incidentally, these appear to be the only African American characters in the movie). The message? Alone means being perpetually unhappy and overweight.
3. And the main female character, who is single and looking, literally waits by the phone for men to call! Not only that, but she also “drives by” the places where her prospective dates might be; she deliberately hangs out at a posh bar because a bad date told her he was a regular there; and she literally throws herself on top of the one guy who might not be a player, only to be rejected by him at the moment — but who shows up at her door in the final scene of the movie to “quell” her anger by shoving his tongue down her throat (yup, that’s a happy ending if I ever saw one).
The primary male character (the tongue-shoving-guy described above) deconstructs all male behavior for the desperate single female (yep, the mute one with the guy’s tongue shoved down her throat), and claims that all of the “success” stories she has heard about bad-dates-turned-good are merely exceptions to the rule (this may, in fact, be the one thing I agree with in the movie). But, as my friend Vanessa put it,
The women in this movie are exceptions in that they are exceptionally stupid!
And as if that’s not enough, the movie is decidedly anti-feminist, promoting sexist stereotypes such as:
- Men control the direction of relationships – women must wait passively for men to accept or reject them.
- When men are unsure of what they want, it’s effeminate.
- Women are monogamous, but men are not.
- Wives are not sexy; single women are.
So, to wrap this up: Fuck you, HJNTIY!
Dearest Readers, fess up: How many of you have seen HJNTIY? And how did it make you feel?