It's Not Love, It's Red-Eye

Illustration for article titled It's Not Love, It's Red-Eye
Screenshot: Instagram

On Monday, Mindy Kaling turned 40 and celebrated by posting a lot on Instagram and also having a birthday dinner. B.J. Novak, the godfather of her child and very close friend, was in attendance. During said event, a photo was taken of the two, prompting BuzzFeed (and others) to write a breathless blog post about how the look on B.J. Novak’s face is indicative of love.

Let’s see here.


There’s Mindy, looking happy, holding a cake with a picture of her on it. Sparkly dress, that looks nice! Big thumbs up. Fortieth birthday, baby. Hell yeah. And there, in the background, lurking, meaty forearms on the table, is B.J. Novak. Yes, he’s looking in the general direction of the camera, and he is smiling—maybe because it is rude to not smile when a camera is pointed at your face and you’re sitting next to your best friend and maybe occasional past lover. The look in his eyes, however, is harder to parse.

For starters, we can’t really see them, as they are obscured by the flash. Is there an Instagram filter that removes red-eye yet? If there’s not, we need one desperately, for B.J. Novak is staring at Mindy Kaling like he could possibly inflict damage with the lasers that are his eyes. Also, it’s hard to tell if he’s looking at Mindy Kaling or at any number of things just off-camera: a server holding a pitcher of ice water; someone with the margarita he ordered; an alpaca dressed as Britney Spears doing a passable rendition of “Toxic.” Love is a stretch! It’s red-eye.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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I look at people I love like that all the time, including my children, dogs I like, my parents, and my close friends.  It’s established that these two have been close friends for decades, isn’t that enough to justify a look of love?