Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson mix it up in a romantic comedy about people approaching middle age, in “How do you know.” Witherspoon has to choose between her clueless baseball star hunk (Owen Wilson) and a straight-arrow businessman upended by a federal investigation (Paul Rudd). The scenes did seem to go a bit long with the pace of the film a bit too loose, even disjointed at times. There are some real funny moments but not enough.
Jack Nicholson does a great job hamming away as Rudd’s father. Overall Witherspoon, Rudd, and Wilson all do a decent job as “30 somethings” trying to figure it all out before they hit middle age… the only issue I have is in the writing and directing by James Brooks. Brooks is the guy who wrote for such TV classics like…”The Andy Griffith Show,” “My Three Sons,” and “Room 222.” He practically created “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Rhoda” and “Taxi,” and then he went on to write screenplays for the movies “Terms of Endearment” and “As good as it gets.” He also wrote one of my favorite, “Broadcast News.” Brooks has been a master at character based emotionally compelling humor, sadly, it seems to fade with this film.
The film spends too much time soul-searching and not enough time making us laugh. It has a tough time finding a steady rhythm for the trio’s constant uncertainties. Insted of wrapping things up in a nice neat hollywood love story the film takes us on a candid, and sometimes long, detour through how hard figuring out what you want
can actually be. Watch my review: