REESE WITHERSPOON PAUL RUDD OWEN WILSON JACK NICHOLSON
HOW DO YOU KNOW
First of all, with a title this bad it’s hard to imagine anything good coming out of it; even if it is written and directed by James L. Brooks, who delivered such award winning masterpieces as Broadcast News and As Good As It Gets. Aside from Nicholson, the cast here is far below the standards of Brooks's usual company. Witherspoon, while an Oscar winner, hasn’t delivered a single good performance or a financially stable film since her role in Walk the Line. Rudd and Wilson have long been written off as stereotypical comedy actors with no range or acting ability. Many critically scoffed their nose at Brooks's Spanglish, but after seeing this movie, that now seems like a work of art.
George (Rudd) has just been charged with fraud by his multimillion dollar company, owned by his father Charles (Nicholson). His entire life is flashing before his eyes and he must choose between going to prison for less than three years or admitting the truth about his father, who will then be sentenced to prison for 25 to life. George has decided that if Lisa (Witherspoon), the girl he has befriended, has a romantic interest in him then he will let his father deal with the trouble he has gotten himself into. If not, he will go to prison and come out ready to start over. Lisa is a champion female baseball player who has just been cut from the team due to her age. She finds herself dating a narcissistic baseball player (Wilson) who functions on an inadequate teenage brain level.
Brooks was once a highly respected film maker; a director with the ability to create characters that would resonate with audiences for decades. His study of the human emotion and sense of comedy is nearly incomparable; at least that was true back in the 90’s. How Do You Know is one of the most uninteresting and emotionless romantic comedies in years. The idea of Witherspoon, with all her off screen baggage and on screen personas, portraying an emotionally void baseball player is the funniest element to the movie. However, there is no one here to blame but Oscar winner Brooks. These are his creations and this script is beyond terrible.
I have watched As Good As It Gets over 50 times. Every time, it’s relevant, exciting, funny and memorable. How someone can go from creating the greatest romantic comedy of all time to this garbage? It is difficult to understand. If the film has an ounce of goodness, it’s the few scenes with Kathryn Hahn, who plays Annie, George’s faithful pregnant assistant. Every scene in the movie is worse than the next and the movie is as long winded as any of Brooks’s pictures
Final Thought - How Do You Know isn’t a real title, it’s an unfinished thought.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody