Marketing He's Just Not That Into You as a Film that Men Can Get Into

A week prior to the film’s release, the marketing team for He’s Just Not That Into You has released a video of three of film’s male stars - Justin Long, Bradley Cooper, and Kevin Connolly - trying to persuade men to see the film. The reason they think men might actually like the film? Because, they claim, He’s Just Not That Into You avoids the top 10 cliches of chick flicks.

This video boosts the film’s prior promotional attempts to be seen as a different kind of romantic comedy (or chick flick, as this video cares to reiterate). Yet, it’s also an interesting marketing tactic: taking a type of film that is traditionally developed and promoted for women and marketing it assertively to men. Is this an attempt increase the crossover appeal of romantic comedies? After all, women have increasingly become a mainstay of action, thriller and horror film audiences - despite the fact that those films don’t even market specifically to them.

As for this video, it has some charm. Certainly, they’ve captured a whole list of cheezy filmmaking shortcuts that are regularly used in romantic comedies. But are these really the cliches that we should hope aren’t found in He’s Just Not That Into You? Hardly. But I’ve already hashed out a number of these elsewhere on this blog. In addition, while I think it’s amusing to see these actors poke fun at men who are horrified by the prospect of going to see a romantic comedy, I’m not all that impressed that this video equates crappy filmmaking with “chick flicks.” It’s irksome to see the film marketed to men at the expense of the many women who would also like to see their romantic comedies get smarter and less cliched.

by Tammy Oler
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Tammy Oler has been contributing to Bitch for over a decade. Her writing about pop culture and fandom has appeared in Slate, Ozy, Vulture, and Geek, among others.

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8 Comments Have Been Posted


At least they're not shameless enough to release on Valentine's Day weekend like <i>Confessions of a Shopaholic</i>.

On another note...

I'm just bummed that Jennifer Aniston is in it. I really like her and feel like she has a lot of potential as a comic actress. She keeps coming close to breaking out of doing RomComs with stuff like <i>The Good Girl </i>and <i>Friends With Money</i>—but always ends back there. I suppose this is the kind of film that pays the bills for her...


While the film itself looks lame, cliched, and very very white, I think the spot above is funny. It won't make me (and my purportedly 'masculine' taste in film) go see the movie, and it makes me a little upset that they think guys are the only ones hesitant to see something that won't be anything other than trite, but the spoof sketches above are funny.

It's just a shame that this

It's just a shame that this video is directed at men, as if women are actively looking for these cliches in movies. They assume that female viewers aren't discerning at all!
BTW, I'm really looking forward to Confessions of a Shopaholic because Isla Fisher is hilarious.

I would like to question on

I would like to question on what grounds the piece above is even funny. The intended message seems to be "hey guys, you should go to this movie, watching a cool funny show with your girl won't be all about emotional cheese filled scenes you normally hate".

The message I got was "hey guys, this movie won't be the kind of stuff you normally hate, such as expressing emotions, discussing relationships with 'quirky, sardonic best friends' or caring about relationships in a cliche way, saying you love your partner etc"

But what if I don't feel like this is the kind of stuff I normally hate? I'm a man who likes discussing relationships, I like the idea of being in love with someone, and I express my emotions. That has nothing to do with my idea of being a male human being, although it might have something to do with my idea of conformity to the socially constructed concept of masculine gender identity.

Also, the piece relies heavily on the traditional pop-culture message that 'homosexuality is a shocking and laughable taboo'. The 'falling in love montage' where the guys from 4:28 to 5:19 do a "HILARIOUS" play act of being in love with each other. I mean, come on, do guys even feel love or is it just a big lie to sleep with people, AMIRITE FELLAS?!

This old style of 'joking' not only upholds the myth that emotions are the province of women while cold, self-interested logic is the basis of male identity, it also marginalizes gay relationships. The piece has some "tongue-in-cheek" realization that the scenes between the guys where they're being romantic with each other is just so funny and NOT what "real men" can expect to see when they purchase their movie ticket.

For an example of how to act like a 'real man', see the glue of the piece, where the guys are "at ease as men" and not "acting like chicks in chick flicks". The narrative where they describe the atrocities that football watchin, beer swillin, uber-hetero dudes like them (this is how they are portrayed), are subject to whenever they are forced to watch a normal "chick flick".

There's nothing particularly funny about two guys expressing love to each other, but society's view of the negative aspect of homosexuality lets us laugh at the 'shocking, unbelievable' nature of these guys being romantic. We realize that after the piece (even in between, on the narrative), the guys revert back to their straight as an arrow selves, and don't ever go around expressing emotions and feeling love "like a girl", or worse "like a gay".

This kind of comedy is really common in pop culture these days, from SNL digital sketches relying on guys being in 'romantic' situations as the only basis of a joke, to ads like this which assert outdated socially constructed definitions of 'masculinity' in order to sell movie tickets.

I'm not saying men are in favor of cliches promoted by traditional 'romantic movies' but that maybe society's idea of what gender is/should be into is changing to the point, where jokes like this have begun to seem outdated, sexist, and homophobic.

What Mike said. I

What Mike said. I particularly agree that what bothers me about it is the "homosexuality is funny" thing.

I was not into that book at all.

It bothers me that a film was made based on that horrible book at all. All I will say is that the book <i>He's Just Not That Into You</i> ranks right along with that equally horrid <i>The Rules</i>. The last thing I need are more books telling me that I am a bad person having inferiority complex issues for being rejected, let alone not landing that "man of my dreams" at all. Give me a break ...

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