Jesus, what an awful movie this is. Seriously, absolute garbage. The title, however, is utterly perfect: How Do You Know… when A-list actors are in over their heads, selling out way too hard? How Do You Know… when a movie is so bad, it can actually make you nauseated? How Do You Know… that How Do You Know is damn near the worst movie of the year? Read on.
James L. Brooks is a notoriously slow writer. He admits this often in interviews. The result of his ass-dragging process has produced three of the most iconic films of the past 25 years. From the Best Picture-winning Terms of Endearment to the superior Broadcast News to the endlessly watchable As Good as It Gets. But remember Spanglish? Yeah, me either.
How Do You Know doesn’t even give you the luxury of not remembering it. Once you’ve seen it (and I really, truly hope that you don’t), you’re just going to be pissed that you wasted two hours of your life. Hell, you may even demand a refund from the movie theatre manager. Riots could start. Cars could be overturned. All in the name of God-awful cinema.
I brought up Brooks’ writing process for a reason. I have a sneaking suspicion that he is such a slow writer because it takes him months to come up with the catchy little kickers that his characters constantly blurt out. The juicy one-liners that end most every spoken sentence. Sometimes, this approach soars wonderfully (“You make me wanna be a better man.”), but most of the time, excuse me, everytime in How Do You Know, it falters miserably.
But that’s just one minor detail, surely you can overlook atrocious dialogue. How about the plot, which puts a young, successful… executive? I don’t know, his job is never made clear… in the midst of a federal investigation for… fraud? I don’t know, it’s never really made clear. He meets a tightly-wound professional softball player who is dating a sleazeball professional baseball player, and aimlessly tries to win her over.
Maybe this is right up your romantic comedy alley. See it, I dare you. But don’t blame me if you walk away feeling useless and queasy and pissed off that you didn’t get your money back. Your gamble. F