“He’s Just Not That Into You,” the funny and brutally honest best-selling, self-help book from Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, gets a surprisingly faithful and effective film treatment from director Ken Kwapis (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”).
Screenwriters Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (“Never Been Kissed”) flesh out the thin advice book with realistic — albeit overly beautiful, upscale and young — characters traversing the murky waters of romance, dating and marriage.
Less a true romantic comedy than an ensemble dramedy, the movie follows the relationship trajectories of nine interconnected Baltimore residents. Its winding story line starts when hopeless romantic Gigi (the charm-ing Ginnifer Goodwin) goes on a blind date with self-doubting real estate agent Conor (Kevin Connolly). Desperate to find Mr. Right, Gigi races home to wait by the phone for Conor’s call, but she’s not the one he’s calling. Conor is desperately in love with Anna (Scarlett Johansson), a one-time hook-up who keeps him on the hook under the guise of friendship.
Anna, in turn, is attracted to Ben (Bradley Cooper), a lawyer who might have the contacts she needs to start her singing career. Although Ben has long been married to his uptight college sweetheart, Janine (Jennifer Connelly), he is attracted to Anna, and she pursues him with the notion he might be the love of her life despite his wedding band.
Anna confides in her best pal, Mary (Drew Barrymore), the ad saleswoman at a gay newspaper, about relationship matters. But Mary has problems of her own, notably in coping with romance in the age of text messaging, MySpace and other technology, and depends on her guy-pals to help her.
Janine and Gigi work in the same office with Beth (Jennifer Aniston), who is involved in a committed relationship with Neil (Ben Affleck). They are made for each other but clash over the issue of marriage: Neil doesn’t believe in the concept; Beth desperately wants to tie the knot.
When Gigi stalks Conor back to his local hangout, she gets a reality check from his pal, Alex (the funny Justin Long), a determinedly single guy who speaks as the voice of the book. He gives her the frank truth: If a guy isn’t calling you, isn’t dating you or is sleeping with someone else, he’s just not that into you, and you should move on and find someone who is.