HE’S NOT THAT INTO YOU (2009)
(Note: If this post is your first encounter with my Feminist Film Moment posting, kindly read the rules of engagement before reading, commenting, etc.)
Written by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo based on the book of the same name by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
Directed by Ken Kwapis
Synopsis: The film follows several characters of different relationship statuses as they experiences the trials and tribulations of finding and/or sustaining love.
Moment: Beth (Jennifer Aniston) realizes that a wedding and marriage does not a husband make.
He’s Not That Into You is one of the rare relationship books with a male author (comic Greg Behrendt co-written with his wife Liz Tuccillo) where you get the sense, “This guy really likes women and wants them to be happy on their terms.” Not being a work of fiction, the screenwriters had to work overtime to create characters and relationships that reflect some of the book’s insights. The result: a rare rom-com that both men and women can watch, enjoy and discuss. For the most part, all the relationships are realistic and nuanced, and my favorite relationship is the 7-year romance between Beth and Neil. She breaks up with him because he loves her but doesn’t believe in marriage (which is a dumb saying when you think about it. I mean, marriage exists. It’s not like, you know, a unicorn or the tooth fairy.) When Neil is there for Beth when she needs him most despite their split, she realizes that he already embodies everything she wants in a partner without marriage. This is not to say that marriage doesn’t have its benefits and charms. It certainly has its privileges for those who can marry. That said, it’s pretty damn feminist for a heterosexual woman to just appreciate and enjoy the partnership she has co-created with the man in her life, and especially to let go of the societal pressure to legally hitch herself to him.
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