GINNIFER GOODWIN, IN ‘HE’S JUST THAT NOT INTO YOU’ EVOKES NO LESS THAN
MARGARET SULLAVAN, SEEN HERE WITH JAMES STEWART IN ‘SHOP AROUND THE CORNER,’ HER GREATEST PERFORMANCE
Sometimes the critics can be so wrong and the audience can be so right, as witness last weekend’s top box office success of HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. Ken Kwapis’ romantic comedy was dis’ed by a passel of journos, many of them women, who found the film chauvinistic, foully belittling of the ladies. Bullshit! Methinks most critics are so benumbed by all the recent crap masquerading as romantic comedy (from SEX AND THE CITY to, God help us, NEW IN TOWN, and so many more) that an elegantly well-written, directed and felt observation of modern mating rites completely befuddles them.
Central to the film’s goodness is Ginnifer Goodwin, who delivers a supremely affecting, huge-hearted performance as Gigi, the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve like an Ace bandage. Her clueless openness and eagerness to connect in the lethal game of Urban Hook-up will leave you both cringing in embarassment for her and reluctantly smiling with rueful recognition. Just watch her in action at the pick-up bar, so tragic and yet so damned true! She does everything wrong, over and over again, just like two seminal heroines of American cinema, Katharine Hepburn in ALICE ADAMS, and Margaret Sullavan in THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER who, somehow, like Gigi, end up beamingly on top. Indeed, when I mentioned this to her director, Ken Kwapis, he told me that Sullavan was exactly who was on his mind during the filming and that nothing would make him happier than my running a photo of Goodwin alongside the divine, husky-voiced and utterly unique Sullavan. Done!