“How Do You Know”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It sucks! How do you know? Well, for one I had to sit through it. So, I think I’m pretty sure about that statement. The sad thing is that it shouldn’t suck at all. I normally like James L. Brooks, but How Do You Know misses the mark so much that I’m almost embarrassed for him. The worst part about watching this movie is that I had to watch it in this really small theatre with Mr. Brooks sitting directly behind me. To say it was one of the most uncomfortable viewings I’ve ever had would be a major understatement. I’m pretty sure it tested horribly that night, and I think it’s safe to say I don’t think anyone in the theatre truly enjoyed it, but yet here it is in theatres. The test screening was only three or four weeks ago, and when I got done watching it I was sure they were going to push back the release, because re-writes and re-shoots of like a third of this movie was the only way of saving it really. I mean what’s the point of the test screening if you’re just going to release the movie as is regardless? It’s not like they didn’t know! When I was leaving the theatre I could hear James L. Brooks and a bunch of suits talking about how badly it played. I just don’t get it.

In How Do You Know, Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is a pro softball player on the US Women’s Olympic softball team, who’s just been cut because she’s getting a little too old to play. After being cut, she falls back on her on-again-off-again relationship with pro-ballplayer (Owen Wilson). At the same time, George Madison (Paul Rudd) runs a business founded by his father, Charles (Jack Nicholson), and is currently being charged with securities fraud and is about to be indicted. The characters in this movie are as unsure of what they want, as the movie is about it’s trying to say with the story. It’s truly a mess. There are a few funny moments, but not nearly enough to warrant it worth seeing. It’s not just the writing either, the acting is horrible as well. Witherspoon looks like she’s trying out for a high school play at times, and Jack Nicholson is totally phoning it in. Like I said, it’s just sad. One of the best moments is when George literally runs away from bad news. Sadly, the truth is Paul Rudd should have run away from this movie when he had the chance. Needless to say, you should skip this one all together.