Book vs. Movie: He's Just Not That Into You
By Russ Bickerstaff
February 16, 2009
4) A "here's why it's so hard" chapter written by co-author Liz Tucillo that addresses some of the hazy gray areas of the chapter's subject. This is extremely important to the book, as much of Behrendt's perspective comes from a world of simple black and white realities.
5) A "this is what it should look like" paragraph outlining what a functional version of what an actual relationship would look like without the type of problem discussed in the chapter.
6) A brief "Greg, I get it!" letter by a character who now understands what the author is saying in this chapter and has been able to move on from it.
7) A "what you should've learned in this chapter" page featuring all the major points discussed.
8) A "super-good, really helpful workbook" section that encourages the reader to do something that allows them to symbolically interact with the chapter's central theme.
As you can imagine, the bite-sized nature of a book that is less than 200 pages and packaged into such small morsels works to portion out the reading of the book so as to reinforce the book's central ideas, using gradual repetition of a variety of different topics centered around the theme. Because repetition is absolutely essential to learning, this is kind of a clever format for the book.
Before I go forward with my criticism of the book, my wife urges me to point something out — I am a married heterosexual man. My wife and I have been together since roughly the time the book was published. I am NOT the target audience of this book. Far be it from me to point out the numerous, gaping, possibly unhealthy flaws in a self-help book that has doubtlessly changed the lives of so many women for the better. The book's heart is clearly in the right place and I agree in principle with what it's trying to say, but...
The repetitious nature of Behrendt's book seems a little over-done, especially when one considers how simple and free from ambiguity his perspective is. It's true that someone shouldn't have to date someone who really isn't into dating them, but love just isn't love without the complexity. Painting such a simple picture over and over again denies the kind of complexity that makes people so desirable to begin with. And while I applaud Behrendt's effort to tell the reader how desirable she is, the statement comes across as being more than a bit insincere without acknowledging the flaws that give any person the complexity that makes them so desirable.
Finally, the book's biggest flaw seems to be the writing itself. It's riddled with clichés and a notably weak humor that amplifies the repetitious nature of each chapter.