Herewith the latest Oscar Poker, which alternated between agreeably plodding along and finding an occasional good groove…

How were things looking in early ’09, a time in the evolution of the species when Barack Obama was just settling into the Oval Office, MySpace was still a bigger thing than the five-year-old Facebook, Twitter hadn’t yet become an unavoidable big deal and the ensemble cast for this glide-along, critically scorned romcom included youngish, good-looking actors like Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson and Justin Long.

Yes, the same Bradley Cooper (born in ’75) who would begin work on Maestro less than a decade later.

Mindsets and general attitudes naturally had to be challenged, broadened or deepened by the advancement of time and the eruption of disruptive social-media lava, and so films like He’s Just Not That Into You (produced by New Line, exec produced by Barrymore, described by Manohla Dargis as “a grotesque representation of female desire”) had to gradually go away.

IMDB review: “My girlfriend and I, late 40ish or just beyond, saw this in a theater that was absolutely filled with high-school girls. Which surprised me actually, given that that most of the costars are either mid 30ish or nudging 40 (the 25 year-old Johansson is the youngest). But the teens, like the rest of the audience, seemed to really enjoy this film, as did we. (Pic ended with a worldwide gross of $178 million.)

“The relationships were nicely intertwined without being contrived (Crash anyone?), and unlike the similar Love Actually, nothing portrayed was too outlandish. The convention of adding comments by ‘real’ people to introduce story lines was well done and amusing. All of the guys are presented as having relationship issues or as being total boneheads. Hopefully there are more ‘nice guys’ interspersed in society than what this film might lead you to believe this (although I must say that the attitudes presented are definitely not inaccurate).

“Overall a very nice film with 2-hour-plus running time goes by rather quickly. If you’ve ever been in or tried to be in a relationship, you’ll probably enjoy this movie.”

Again, the link.