How Do You Know
Feeling a bit past her prime at 27, former athlete Lisa Jorgenson finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis competes with Lisa’s current, baseball-playing beau.
How Do You Know is by James L. Brooks, who writes sort of mainstream romantic comedies better than anybody in the universe. And he is at really the top of his form here. The story concerns Reese Witherspoon, who has just been fired from the US women’s baseball team, and so she is feeling vulnerable. She is dating Owen Wilson, who is a pitcher for a professional baseball team and a professional womanizer. And then in a corollary universe, Jack Nicholson runs a company with his son, Paul Rudd, and Paul Rudd has just been indicted for mail fraud. So Paul is having a terrible time, he’s a really nice guy. Reese is a charming woman that everybody likes, is having a hard time, and they get together. And will it be true love or will Owen the sleazeoid win her heart with his flamboyant lifestyle and great gifts. Well, since this is a romantic comedy, we know who’s going to win. But the nice thing about How Do You Know is that it really does have some nuance that Paul Rudd isn’t all that good, and he’s charming in this one and a little more grown up than he usually is. And Owen Wilson is charming and actually does seem to have a heart. He seems to be a bit clueless, but he does have a heart. And the best scene however in this movie has to do with a subplot that I’m not going to tell you very much about because I don’t want to spoil any of the fun. But this is good writing, clever mature scenes, some actors at the top of their game. And is it one for the ages? Probably not. But will you have a great time at the movies? Yeah, I’ll give it four stars.