This sumptuous ensemble romantic comedy managed to exceed my expectations in every way. It was extremely hilarious and utterly realistic, and features an eclectic cast that all add something different to this intriguing tale of dealing with the pitfalls of dating and marriage.
The story begins with Gigi. After a first date, she becomes mildly obsessive waiting for the guy to call her during the week after. But he doesn't and this is the catalyst that eventually proceeds to link all the characters together in interconnected plot lines that range from funny and sweet, (Drew Barrymore's character bemoaning the fact that there's so much technology out there and she's managed to get dumped via email, MySpace and SMS) to tragic and heartbreaking (Ben Afflleck and Jennifer Aniston's characters not seeing eye to eye on getting married and so she would rather throw away their 7 year old relationship).
Scarlet Johansson also plays a pivotal role, that of a single woman who has a friend pining for her, but she would rather try and tempt a married man who himself is going through a rough patch with his wife, played to perfection by Jennifer Connelly. The way that this love-quadrangle plays out forms the basis for the realism factor, and while there are some sweet and tender moments, it's ultimately a tragedy that you can see is coming, because for this foursome, 2 people are gonna get hurt. And this plot line is expertly written.
Justin Long provides the voice of reason fashioned on the book on which the movie is based. His character, Alex, is the advice-dispensing guide who takes Gigi under his wing and tries to reveal all the ins and outs of dating dos and don'ts. And this masterstroke is how the movie becomes a guide just like the book, while also telling a story that many of us will see ourselves in.
The acting is all pretty faultless, with Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Brendan Cooper and Justing Long displaying some of their best work. Scarlet is as stunning as ever, and plays the temptress well, but Barrymore is sadly underutilized. In total, I think she might only have 10 minutes worth of screen time, but she does use it well.
And I wouldn't go so far to call this a 'chick flick', as I think there's just as much enjoyment and knowledge to be gained from this movie for us guys as there is for women. All in all, a perfect date movie. (5 out of 5, by Carlisle Johnson)
A group of interconnected, Baltimore-based twenty- and thirtysomethings navigate their various relationships from the shallow end of the dating pool through the deep, murky waters of married life, trying to read the signs of the opposite sex - and hoping to be the exceptions to the "no-exceptions" rule.
Gigi just wants a man who says he'll call--and does--while Alex advises her to stop sitting by the phone. Beth wonders if she should call it off after years of committed singlehood with her boyfriend, Neil, but he doesn't think there's a single thing wrong with their unmarried life. Janine's not sure if she can trust her husband, Ben, who can't quite trust himself around Anna. Anna can't decide between the sexy married guy, or her straightforward, no-sparks standby, Conor, who can't get over the fact that he can't have her.
And lastly there's Mary, who's found an entire network of loving, supportive men, but she just needs to find one who's straight.
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