Esteemed writer/director James L. Brooks’ newest film “How Do You Know” ponders the questions “how do you know when you’re in love?” and presents viewers with a love triangle between Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd.
Lisa (Witherspoon) is a star softball player who just got cut from her team, and now has no clue what do with her life. She’s casually dating self-centered baseball player Matty (Wilson), but she decides to go on a date before things become more serious with him. Enter George (Rudd), a businessman who just got accused of a financial crime he didn’t commit.
Lisa and Matty’s first date is painfully, painfully awkward — see the “Restaurant” clip for proof. Both characters are having the worst days of their lives when they meet for the first time. I found this clip really hard to watch… but maybe that’s the point.
Sometimes watching film clips out of context doesn’t always give you the best idea of the feel of a movie, what it’s really about, and I felt that way watching these — except for “Let Me Ask You Something,” which cements who Matty is all about. Sitting in the dugout at one of his games, Matty asks his teammates THE question, “How do you know when you’re in love?” One of the guys says when he uses a condom with the other girls. Matty then declares that he’s in love. Charming.
Wilson always does a great job at playing these narcissistic characters, and I will watch Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson (who plays Rudd’s dad) in anything. But my feelings toward Witherspoon have been on the fence for a while now. I loved her in “Walk the Line,” but in some of her movies I see this whiny, teenage angst-y quality about her, one that worked perfect in films like “Pleasantville” when she was of the appropriate age. I’m hoping I will enjoy her in this film, although I felt myself annoyed with her (or her character, I guess) in these few clips. Let’s hope, like I mentioned earlier, that I’m just not getting the true feeling of the movie from what I’ve seen so far.
“How Do You Know” is in theaters now.
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