How Do You Know (2010)

How Do You Know
Director: James L. Brooks
Writer: James L. Brooks
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson, Kathryn Hahn

Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) is a professional softball player but she’s just been cut from her team. A little bit at a loss with her life, she starts dating Matty (Owen Wilson) who is sweet and an asshole at the same time. In the meantime, George (Paul Rudd) who works for his father’s (Jack Nicholson) company is informed that he is being investigated for fraud and suddenly his life starts to fall apart – right after he got Lisa’s number from a mutual friend. On the advice of his assistant Annie (Kathryn Hahn) he calls her up but they don’t really hit it off straight away.

This movie is not exactly bad, but it isn’t any good either. There are some nice things about it, but somehow it’s neither fish nor fowl.

The main characters are quite likeable and rather unusual people – really not the stereotypes that Hollywood normally gives you. That’s especially successful in Matty. I could probably write a whole post on him, I thought he was really fascinating. And Owen Wilson is wonderful in the role. (Kathryn Hahn is great, too.)

But somehow all the characters feel quirky in exactly the same way. They talk the same, they seem to relate the same way to each other, they all have this habit of being honest with each other in the same way. It was a little unsettling.

But the biggest problem was that the movie apparently didn’t know what it actually wanted to be. It has all the makings of a typical Hollywood RomCom (the cast, the look and feel, the budget), but to actually be a movie like that, it moves much too slow and it doesn’t really have any jokes and it’s just missing a certain spark.

Which could have worked if it had been aware of what it was doing and embraced it. Instead you get the feeling that against the movies will it was bent into the mainstream format and it just didn’t feel comfortable there.

Summarising: It’s okay, but nothing more.

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