Review – How Do You Know

There are two words that strike fear into the hearts of men the world over; romantic comedy. Don’t be fooled by thinking ‘How Do You Know’ is your standard romantic comedy, it plays out more like a traditional love story than a by the numbers rom-com. ‘How Do You Know’ is the story of Lisa (Reece Witherspoon) & George (Paul Rudd) two thirty-something New Yorkers who hit hard times in love and their careers. As their paths cross they being to confide in each other and a friendship develops that could be something much more but in the confusing world of relationships it’s hard to tell who could be ‘the one’. ‘How Do You Know’ is a film that has a lot of charm thanks to writer/director James L. Brooks (As Good As It Gets & Terms Of Endearment) , the romantic leads have good chemistry but the plot is all over the place and the characters are a little too selfish and neurotic to really care about.

Writer/director James L. Brooks has stuck to fairly traditional love story with ‘How Do You Know’ and avoids the traps of most romantic comedies. Gone is the ‘meet cute’, the evil ex boyfriends and girlfriends and soppy soundtrack. Instead he chooses to explore the complexities of modern day relationships with just the right amount of charm. Reece Witherspoon and Paul Rudd have the right chemistry as the two leads with Rudd providing most of the films highlights. Paul Rudd is one of the best comedic actors working at the moment; he can be silly and sincere at the same time which goes a long way in this film. Reece Witherspoon doesn’t fare so well because her character is selfish and high maintenance, rather than enjoy being in a relationship she decides to analyse every part of to the point of nausea. There was a part in the film where she sits down in front of a computer and I almost ran out of the cinema thinking she was going to jot down all her problems with men ‘Sex and The City’ style (vomit!). Jack Nicolson shows up and shouts and lot while Owen Wilson does his best Owen Wilson impersonation again. The plot limps along with most of the films main concerns easily thrown to the side making the story irrelevant and just a countdown until the final kiss between the lovers.

‘How Do You Know’ brings back a little traditional romance that will put a smile on the face of any old romantic, a good clean date movie that’s a little too mediocre to find a place in my heart.


The Popcorn Junkie