How Do You Know is about a softball player (Reese Witherspoon) whose life goes downhill. She’s also in a relationship with a pro athlete (Owen Wilson), but stumbles upon a businessman (Paul Rudd) whose life is crumbling too. It becomes a love triangle that she must decide the outcome of in this romantic comedy. The film was written and directed by James L. Brooks.
I loved it so much so that I think I’m adding it to my list of favorite movies. It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t a hit and it got bad reviews.
Perhaps the most common criticism was that the movie’s slow paced. I was sick when I watched it so maybe that’s partly why it matched my pace, but seeing Brooks’ past work, As Good As It Gets, I also knew what I was getting into.
Plus, it wasn’t that slow. (Fair warning: Its running time is 2 hours.)
It had genuine funny moments, many of them in the simple mannerisms of the actors like the facial expressions of Rudd and Jack Nicholson. For example:
The humor was quite sophisticated. Not that I’ve watched many period films, but I sense a throwback to older films circa the ’40s.
Throughout the movie, the characters also spout off philosophical lines, which seemed out of place at first, but then, you kind of love it and learn from them (moreso than in Hitch). Oh, look. Here’s two of them now: “You’re lucky if you’re at fault because then you can correct the situation.” “Never drink to feel better; only drink to feel even better.”
And I just have to say, the locations are gorgeous. According to IMDb.com, they shot in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. I must visit those places one day!
The locations are only matched in beauty by Witherspoon. She is positively glowing in every scene she’s in. EVERY single scene. One of the most touching ones is when she and Rudd are having one of their talks. This is what she says, but I strongly suggest you watch her deliver the lines in the movie:
I don’t know if I have what it takes for everybody’s regular plan. I’ve never felt like that, that love like, like the guy is the whole deal. Like, like to be honest, the baby thing—never, never. I’m just good at this one thing you know, and when I hear girls talking about how in love they are, and or how the baby is everything, I think they’re pretending.
Before I go, please note there’s another dialogue in there that will make you look at Play-Doh in a whole new light. Some really terrific writing.