Saturday, February 14, 2009

He's Just Not That Into You - Concept Review

It was only a matter of time until I blogged about this movie. The whole progression was a creation of destiny, a manifestation of fate. In order to understand what I'm talking about, I'm gonna have to back-up about a year.

{back story}

January 25, 2008: I moved back to Eugene after separating with the man I had been with since I was 15. What I needed was a clear head and time to gather the much needed experience that I had skipped my first time through. That's when I created my very first rule - No second dates.

I dated more men in the two months that followed than I had dated my entire life up to that point. Sometimes, I'd run across a guy who would tempt me to break that rule, leading me to make up another rule. Enter rules 2 & 3: No guys under 25 & No dating guys I work with.

The rules did their job and (with one exception),I had managed to avoid developing feelings for anyone or experiencing the sting of rejection. In November, my Ex announced he was moving in with someone and all of the reasons for my limitations started to fade. I figured if he was already moving in with someone it was a little extreme for me to be avoiding second dates. It took a while for the rules to die, but the first to go was rule #1.

In January 2009, Cheri gave me the book "He's Just Not That Into You." Every chapter was fuel, more reasons not to pursue anyone. It was perfect, because I found myself working extra-hard at that point to suppress some completely irrational feelings.

The weekend after I finished that book, I had a revolutionary experience at a bar. I met a man that was exceptionally handsome and we chatted for a while. When I got up to leave, he asked for my number. When he asked if I wanted his, I told him "Nope. If you want to see me again, you'll call." He did...ten minutes later. We hooked up for more drinks and I realized that even though he was straight from the pages of Abercrombie & Fitch, he had about as much depth as a cookie sheet. After I declined to go home with him several times, I figured I wouldn't hear from him any more. The next night, I was out with my friends and they were urging me to phone him. I quoted "He's Just Not That Into You" and got flicked a ton of shit. They may have been right, he might have been glad to hear from me, but if all he wanted was to get laid then I wasn't interested.

The very next day, I saw the ad for the movie "He's Just Not That Into You." What's more, it opened on my birthday! I took it as a sign.

{/ back story}

The movie itself was pretty great. It shone a spotlight on my own insecurities (let me also mention that the main character's name is Gigi) but there were hidden treasures as well. Little truths, like how confusing protocol has become, made me giggle and reflect. One woman desperately wants to find love, one man desperately works to avoid it. Everyone intertwines and learns from each other. Touching.

There was one moment that offered the characters the same type of clarity that it offered me when I read it in the book. The idea is, if he's not calling you, it's because he doesn't want to call you. It seems simple, but it's also so easy for us to explain away. Maybe he's out of town, or busy. Maybe he's afraid he'll come off as to eager. Maybe he's got company. We're always looking for exceptions, but we're not exceptions. Once we realize that we're the rule, we can stop reading meaning into things that aren't there and start focusing on the people who really care about us. If someone really cares, he'll want to call and he *will* call.

Something that came to me after the movie was an explanation of what we're searching for. I think (at least for me) that what we really want in a partner is an extension of a friend. As a woman, I want someone who understands me the way that my best friends do. I want someone who pays attention and knows that I prefer Diet Coke. I want someone who knows that the next time I get married, I don't want a diamond. It seems perfectly logical to want someone who cares about my happiness at least as much as my good friends do. By the same token, it makes me want to be more of a friend at a guy watch the same sports that he watches or try to appreciate his music. It's a give and take.

While the movie subtly refuted many of the ideas in the book, I think both forms should be experienced together. The book is unquestionably extreme, the movie is playful and starry-eyed, but together they formulate some pretty truthful concepts. Two thumbs up.


Andy said...

So did you notice how even though the movie kept repeating the message of people being the rule and not the exceptions, by the end each and every character was the exception to their various rules???

Kiki said...

As a matter of fact, I did! I think that came dangerously close to ruining the movie...but in our heads, we're all exceptions, right? I know I am.

daveydavedavedave said...

The diamond thing really stood out to me. I was doing chemistry h/w was thinking about how lame diamonds are. Actually they are really cool. But totally cheap, even natural ones aren't rare, man made diamonds (which are exactly the same) aren't that expensive to make. Yet, the diamond industry is destroying Africa... child workers, blah blah, terrible mining techniques.I hate diamonds so much. I used to think I'd have to grin and bear it, when I got married, but now I'm pretty sure that its really not that big of a deal. I wouldn't even want to buy a man made diamond or a non blood diamond, I think even buying one thats ethical is still supporting the sale and concept of others. Similarly I hate fake fur. i like blogs.
why won't this publish? do you approve them? have i published three times?

Kiki said...

Published fine :)

Yeah, I don't like the whole idea of "A diamond is forever." I think that love can't be declared once and depended on forever. I'd rather have a ring that symbolizes being renewed everyday. Even a sharpie marker that he puts on me in the morning. That's not to say that I want a love that washes off in the rain...but you know what I mean!