Spotting the Stereotypes: He’s Just Not That Into You

by Latoya Peterson

Around New Year’s Eve, I started seeing commercials for He’s Just Not That Into You. I was amused at first – until the last five seconds of the clip. After carefully showing the tortured romantic lives of Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Connolly, and Ginnifer Goodwin, the camera cuts to two heavyset black women sitting on a bench.

One woman looks dead at the camera and says (to some unknown listener) “Girl, you better get yourself some ribs and some ice cream because you’ve been dumped!”

The first time the commercial aired, one of my friends from Houston flipping channels while we were waiting to go out. After watching the trailer, I noticed we had the same “WTF” face after that clip aired. I sighed. She sighed.

“They always do that to us, don’t they?”

She said this as more of a statement than a question.

I could understand her feelings. We’re always the punchline, never the bride. (Or the girl who goes on a date. Or anything but the sassy friend who shows up to give the real characters a dose of real-world truisms before disappearing back into the shadows of the script.)

To add insult to injury, I found out He’s Just Not That Into You is set in Baltimore. Yes, Baltimore. Apparently, there are brown folks in the cast with the bit parts – Tokyo Girl #1 and #2, African Woman #1, 2, and 3, and Hot Girl. There are even some PoC with names! Yet, I can’t seem to shake the idea that the poster basically tells me everything I need to know about this movie.

Trailer is below.

(Sidenote: I looked through at least seven different versions of this trailer online trying to find the one with the black women in it, to no avail. I had to stop searching for my own sanity. However, about half of the Racialicious contribs have seen the same ad. If someone knows where that section of the clip is online, drop a link in the comments and I will load it.)