Movie Details

How Do You Know

Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is a woman, whose athletic ability is the defining passion of her life, having been her focus since early childhood. When she is cut from her softball team, everything she has ever known is suddenly taken from her. Not knowing what to do as she stumbles towards a regular life. She begins a fling with Matty (Owen Wilson), a major league baseball pitcher, a self-centred ladies man - a narcissist with a code of honour. Before Lisa`s relationship with Matty takes root, she meets George for a first date on the worst evening of each of their lives: she has just been cut, and he has just been served. When everything else seems to be falling apart, they will discover what it means to have something wonderful happen.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 3 Mar 2011
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Romance
Running Time: 2 Hours 1 Minute
Cast: Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson
Director: James L. Brooks
Format: NA


Writer: Rheus Wai Soh See

Writer Ratings:

Watch this if you liked: “Before Sunset”, “Lars And The Real Girl”, “2 Days In Paris”

How do you know that the third Rudd-Witherspoon pairing after "Overnight Delivery" (1998) and "Monsters vs. Aliens" (2009) is a complete flop with the critics and also at the box office? Well, when it made just some US $50 million worldwide off a US $120 million budget and when every other movie review you can find complains about how remarkably lethargic the rom-com was - that's how.

Overlong, off-beat and seemingly very autobiographical (it's not), it's simply the sort of adventure that gets you thinking - does this story need to be told? Written, directed and produced by James L. Brooks ("Terms Of Endearment" 1983, "As Good As It Gets" 1997 and "Spanglish" 2004), you'd think that it's a deeply personal story about a love triangle, since the details are specific and frankly, rather non-dramatic to the point of tedium. Themes don't match nor complement the energy of the very able cast, rendering the effort quite puzzling if anything.

There's an assured Jack Nicholson playing a company patriarch and even a splendid Kathryn Hahn (TV's "Crossing Jordan") as a homely co-worker - but these roles are so peripheral and incidental to the story and the unmistakable, solid performances from these two at least, take us further away from the flavour of the love triangle between Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson. As for the three, they are far too cute for their own good in the movie and oddly, this makes for decent watching, although it's fairly certain this wasn't the intended entertainment.

However there are some sporadic moments of inspired writing in the film (e.g. an unlikely romantic reference about Play-Doh") that leave you with enough contentious points to argue out with your partner after the movie, therefore rendering it it a strangely decent date movie.

"How Do You Know" opened very poorly at $7.6 million in the United States and Canada - eighth in the box office on its first weekend. It fell off the chart by its third.

Cinema Online, 02 March 2011
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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