Thursday, November 18, 2010

He's Just Not That Into You

So you get home from a first date with a guy you’ve had a major crush on. You’re sitting on the couch, reliving every detail from the night, as you’re thinking everything went just right. Your date picked you up from home, dressed adorably, had great manners at dinner, and even picked up the bill after you insisted to split it. In your eyes, you did everything correctly and the date went perfect. A couple of days have passed by; why hasn’t he called you since then?

He’s Just Not That Into You is a 2009 romantic comedy starring some of Hollywood’s hottest actors and actresses including Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, and more. According to the Internet Movie Database, “Five women and four men try to sort out the signals that the sexes exchange.”

This situation described above relates to one of the characters in the movie, Gigi Haim. After Gigi went on a date, she has anxiously been waiting for a call from her prince charming. Her so-called “Prince charming” decides not to call Gigi, which drives her absolutely crazy. Gigi decides to go to the bar that her date works at, hoping to accidentally run into him. This movie depicts where girls go wrong in relationships and why we always seen to interpret them differently than guys. Lets face it; we all know that girls and guys think very differently.

Most women have always been told since they were little girls, if men are mean to them, then the actual significance behind this is that they like you. He’s Just Not That Into You, is a film that portrays the truth about why men act the way they are. I think this movie comes across as describing women in a pathetic manner. Women are always the ones waiting around for the guy to call back or initiate the date, well according to the movie anyhow. The film repeatedly makes women seem dependent upon men and that they constantly look weak when trying to receive attention from men.

He’s Just Not That Into You, shows that women and girls will do whatever it takes to get a mans attention. Of course people perceived this film in many ways, but this movie is frustrating to me as a woman because I don’t believe that I act in the way the movie says most girls do when it comes to men. I don’t understand why women are always portrayed as the victim and looked at towards men in a negative light. I just don’t get it. Why can’t girls realize just when a guy is not into them? It seems like first, the girl has to come across as desperate to the rest of the world, then she will realize that the guy doesn’t care about her and is just using her. This film does not show how a relationship can be egalitarian.

Furthermore, I can relate to this movie on a very personal level because I currently live in a sorority house with 28 other girls. I am constantly listening to the difficulties girls are having with the guys they are “talking to,” and I just don’t understand how they can stoop down to their level and have no respect for themselves. Maybe I’m just being harsh, but it’s clear to me that actors and actresses in the movie, He’s Just Not That Into You, really act that same way in real life. I hope this movie calls attention to women and I hope it helps women change.

In Theories of Masculinity class, we have discussed the qualities in men that make them masculine. In order for a guy to truly be masculine does he have to be violent, strong, smart, and an asshole? Or could it be a combination of all four? The film represents masculine men by the ones who give women the hardest time. As a feminist, I don’t think the movie portrays women fairly. In addition, the movie comes across that guys have all of the control in the relationship. Which we all know is not true! In class, we have focused on theories and topics such as glass ceiling and the glass escalator. The glass ceiling is when a company effectively hinders a woman’s move up the corporate ladder. This describes a women’s, “failure to rise to senior level positions because of invisible and artificial barriers constructed by male management.” This topic reminds me of the film, He’s Just Not That Into You, because in this movie women fail to rise to higher standards because of invisible barriers constructed by men. Although the glass ceiling is geared towards women working, it relate to our class and what we have been learning because women are once again held back from men.


Adam-Scott said...

I think its interesting how Gigi is constructed as a girl who needs a man. You are right, it shifts the power away from the woman. Now, its back to expectations, playing games, infantilizing women, glorifying the need to be boo'ed up!

Roland said...

When I first saw this movie, it was within the company of 3 women, and when asked what I thought of it once it was over, I didn't know how to respond (partly because I was the only guy there was scared of getting cut). On one side it was cute because of the storyline and how it had a somewhat "happy" ending in each vignette; two characters in particular are Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) who plays the underdog who "finally" meets her right match and an empowered Janine (Jennifer Connelly) who decides her marriage is in the dumps. One finds Mister Right, and the other dumps Mister Wrong--DING DING! The woman is wins either way! YAY!

But on the other end as Adam was saying, both are constructed around needing a man in order to be defined as an acceptable, society-conforming "woman", sending the exact opposite message. Women only "win" based on the outcome with their male counterparts, which in turn should define their happiness. FAIL!

I'm glad you examined this movie because it shows a new kind of "sexism" that encourages rather than evades the hetero-normative stereotypes of women. My female friends would label this as a "chick-flick", but what does that even mean anymore?

Coming out the closet Feminist! said...

When i first saw this movie i completely loved it. And now after almost completing my minor in W omen's Studies and looking through a feminist lens the idea of a women always "needing" a man to feel completely accepting in society is truly sad. Not to long I got interviewed for a girls undergrad thesis project of females approaching adulthood and after a series of questions and completing the interview. She shut off the tape recorder and thanked me for volunteering and pointed out to me that during the 1/2 hr or so of the interview in my life goals not did i once mention wanting to get married and she found that interesting. And i guess part of me never realized it needed to be one of my "goals" but I guess she heard every other girl mention she pointed it out to me, for my shock( because i'm a daydreamer of falling in love) I didn't even think to mention at all. So even in today's society the expectation is even implementing in women themselves