Every so often Hollywood rolls out one of its super star romantic ensemble comedies.
Most of the time they work—like last Christmas when Universal paired Meryl Streep with Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Rita Wilson and Mary Kay Place in IT’S COMPLICATED. Or think back to Disney’s THE PROPOSAL with Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Betty White, Mary Steenburgen and Craig T. Nelson.
Now Sony’s gone and done it with HOW DO YOU KNOW.
They’ve teamed perky Reese Witherspoon with Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson and Kathryn Hahn. Quite a payroll!
On top of that, they put one of the industry’s true heavyhitters James L. Brooks (AS GOOD AS IT GETS, BROADCAST NEWS, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT) behind the camera to produce, direct and write the screenplay.
There’s just one problem here. This movie doesn’t work!
In HOW DO YOU KNOW Reese plays an Olympic softball player who doesn’t make the cut.
Not only is she heartbroken she loses all focus. On top of that her new relationship with pro baseball pretty boy Owen Wilson is shaky at best.
That’s when KC guy Paul Rudd enters her life. And he’s got his own nut to crack. He’s being investigated by the Feds for securities fraud at his dad’s company and likely headed to prison. His dad is played by Jack Nicholson.
What’s Reese to do…and with whom? It all sounds very entertaining, doesn’t it? Well trust me…it isn’t.
The writing is dull enough to make one wonder whether anyone told Brooks that this was supposed to be a comedy of sorts instead of this pointless drivel.
Meanwhile Rudd’s acting makes it look like he’s doing a stage play.
Wilson?….he’s ‘OK’ I guess.
And Nicholson in his small role aimlessly walks around wondering what happened to this babbling script.
As for perky Witherspoon, HOW DO YOU KNOW is definitely not one of Reese’s better pieces.
The picture might have made a decent TV movie or episode. But for the expensive big screen, it just doesn’t deliver the goods.
Sorry ladies but just barely 2 out of 5 lame fingers for HOW DO YOU KNOW. And now YOU know!