The film starts with a little girl in a playground getting bullied by a boy, and her mother telling her that this means that the boy likes her, setting up the premise that the more a guy treats a woman like dirt, the more she'll hang around on the phone waiting for his call. From this point we follow the relationship woes of six (no eight, nine, is it ten?) different people and their relationships ups and downs, as one guy is trapped in a loveless marriage, one couple realise they want different things and one woman who is trying to figure out how to play the dating game, the stories cross and intertwine and from this comical situations ensue.
Now, from the tone of the last part of that sentence you may well have come to the conclusion that this is just another standard romantic comedy chick-flick, and, on paper, it should be. But it's not. The script is very similar in tone and feel to "When Harry met Sally" with "supposed" regular people introducing each chapter of the film, the insights are decent and the dialogue contains a lot of honesty that I think many people can relate to. The cast are all first rate with special attention going to Ben Affleck, who has so needed a good role in front of the camera for ages, and Jennifer Aniston as the couple who can't move forward, also good are Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Connolly in their respective roles. The big star turns for me though are Ginnifer Goodwin and Justin Long as the hapless dater and the hapless dating coach, who are really good. For Long it's another step up the Hollywood ranks (pretty much the direction he's been heading since "Dodgeball") and for Goodwin it is a star-making turn that should do for her what "knocked-up" did for Heigl.
The film of course has a number of elements and outcomes that are extremely predictable (it IS a romantic comedy) but there's enough other stuff in there, and definite surprises at the end, to make it more than just the sum of its parts. It's charming, clever and, when viewed with a pantomime-style audience that I saw it with, a lot of fun, and I'm a guy! A cross between "When Harry met Sally" and "Friends" that doesn't try and jump on the gross-out comedy bandwagon.