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Movie ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’

Introduction

Culture may be defined as the behavioural patterns of people within a given period of time, with regards to their beliefs, organizations and products of their activities (Jenks, 1993, p.2). Movies perform different roles in our lives. These range from entertainment to teaching the moral lessons behind certain issues, while highlighting specific societal topics in the attempt to create awareness. The lessons learnt from movies largely depend on the kind of movies being watched. Though the lessons are sometimes noted by some viewers, several of them miss them, owing to different reasons (Prince, 2009, p.137). Although the movie ‘He’s just not that into you’ is viewed by many people as a female guide to understanding men’s actions and motives, the movie actually displays numerous aspects of typical American culture.

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A Summary of the movie ‘He’s just not that into you’

The movie highlights the nature of relationships within a group of interconnected individuals who are in their twenties and thirties. Living in Baltimore, their affairs are described since their time of dating to the various challenging times of their married life, as the girls try to understand the behaviours of the men in their lives in a bid to protect their relationships. They try to solve the clues and signs of their mates. Gigi desires a man who keeps his word, but is advised by Alex to avoid waiting by the phone every time a man says that he will call her. Beth’s dilemma is whether or not to end her relationship with Neil who does not seem to be interested in marring her. On the other hand, Janine distrusts her husband, Ben, who true to Janine’s fears has an illicit affair with Anna. Anna is undecided on who to love between the married Ben, and her straight admirer, Conor, who is deeply into her. On her side, Mary is plunged into a huge network of loving and supportive men, but desires for a man who is simply straight. In the end, the scenes successively unfolds in different ways, and the play ends in manner that appeals many viewers (Tuccillo,and Behrendt,2009 ).

Genres of movies

Just like many people have different tastes, the film industry is vast. Depending on content, the industry can be classified into a number of categories as summarised below.

According to Grant 2007, action movies entail several physical stunts containing fights between rival camps with good and bad people. They are monetarily expensive to produce. In most cases, the movies end with a win for the good guys. Majority of them contain thrilling plots that carry the viewers to wondrous places. These form the adventurous movies. On the other hand, comedies are consistently and deliberately structured to amuse people. They are based on innocent humor and body expressions. Crime and gangster films trace their activities on sinister criminal actions and depict the lifestyle of underworld figures. In drama stories, emphasis is made on portraying situations of real life possibilities. These may be in form of action, comic, or even romantic. Movies designed to depict a historical event are epics/ historical films, while scary ones that expose fears and sometimes give raise to nightmares are classified as horror. If they are based on full score or song and dance, they are musical/dance, and are war films when showing a war situation. Western movies display the American culture, with their animations being purely from computer graphics. Thrillers differ from Horror movies in that, they are less scary and more provocative. Science fiction movies are based on possible futuristic scientific technology that may never be attained.

Based on the above, the movie in discussion can be broadly classified as a romantic drama. Several romantic scenes are depicted in the movie, ranging from dinner dates with Alex and Gigi to weddings (Neil and Beth) and several sexual encounters. The scenes are all portrayed as in real life situations. In some instances, aspects of comedy are also inserted into the movie’s plot, but its key objective is not to amuse and hence cannot be categorised as comedy.

American Culture in the movie

The American culture is diverse and slightly varies in different places within the nation. The culture has several aspects/components which include: Eating, sleeping, work, education, money, family, formality, sports, among others (Jenks, 1993, p.7). Some of these aspects are depicted in this movie.

Eating: Like most cultures in different nations, Americans love eating a variety of food. Majority of them prefer to take their meals at home, while some eat in restaurants. This can either be for nourishment or ceremonial purposes. While the foods consumed by diffefernt cultural groups vary, food is generally consumed for nourishment purpose. In the movie, ‘He’s just not that into you’, when Gigi and Alex sets up a date, they go to eat out in the restaurant. Alex later organises a party and invites Gigi. She ceremoniously treats the invitation as a call to co-host the party. This, she performs as if it is her duty and even stays behind to help with the wash up. The quantity of food prepared at Alex’s place during the party is large. Mary runs into Conor while he is taking coffee in a restaurant and they hit it off. Although they had previously talked on phone, their relationship only picks up after this meeting. After her father experiences a heart attack, Beth feed him, provides him with tremendous support and does his cleaning.

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Work: The majority of Americans are used to working in diverse capacities. Most of them value industrious and rational individuals who are competent in their work. Work plays a vital role in their daily lives. Gigi breaks up with Conor who does not call as he promises to do, citing work as his excuse. This portrays the extent to which he values his work, in relation to other happenings in his life. Gigi then gets convinced that Alex is in love with her because he picks her phone calls even when very busy at work. Alex’ realization that he is similarly obsessed with Gigi’s situation only comes after he is confronted by an employee at work and he makes the decision to go to her house and straighten thing up. Janine who distrusts her husband is Gigi’s co-worker. After their disagreement, Ben, together with Anna walks to the office where they have sex until Janine disrupts them by tapping on the door. She too has sex with Ben in the office while Anna is in the closet. Ann then leaves Ben, vowing never to see him again, and joins the music business. The movie ends as she works in an upscale nightclub. Beth, whose boyfriend of seven years, Neil, has not proposed to her, is also a co-worker of Gigi. In general, almost everyone in the movie works somewhere even though the jobs are different. The setting mostly depicts working class characters. The work place influence on their daily lives is prominent in the way it shapes their relationships.

Sports: Several Americans generally love participating and watching various sporting activities, with the most popular sports being baseball, and basketball. The husbands to Beth’s sisters watch football, engage in video games and muddle the house, but are not troubled about their father in-law’s health. She basically does everything to make him comfortable.

Conclusion

Culture covers different aspects of our daily lives. Movies are made in different places and depict different cultures that are not necessarily from where they are produced. The kind of movie produced illustrates a certain culture. In reality, one single movie cannot properly highlight all the aspects of culture in a particular community, but just a part of it. In the movie ‘He’s just not that into you’ aspects of culture such as sporting, eating and work are summarily addressed. Apart from that, the movie is set in a contemporary working class environment, and guides single ladies into how to understand men better.

References

Behrendt,G. And Tuccillo, L.2009. He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Jenks, Chris. (1993). Culture. New York: Routledge

Keith, B.K.2007. Film genre: from iconography to ideology. London: Wallflower Press.

Prince, Stephen. (2009). Movies and Meaning: An Introduction to Film, Edition5. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

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