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 How Do You Know 

What grade would you give this film?
A 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
B 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
C 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
D 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
F 20%  20%  [ 1 ]
Total votes : 5

 How Do You Know 
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loyalfromlondon
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Post How Do You Know
How Do You Know

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How Do You Know is a 2010 romantic comedy drama film directed, written and produced by James L. Brooks. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson.

The film was shot in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. It was released on December 17, 2010. This marks the third film to feature Witherspoon and Rudd following 2009's Monsters vs. Aliens and 1998's Overnight Delivery.

The film suffered huge losses at the box office worldwide, grossing only a third of its $120 million budget back.

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Fri Dec 17, 2010 3:58 am
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Extraordinary

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Post Re: How Do You Know
How Do You Know is an amiably charming little film that captures some seldom seen but recognizable characters in eccentrically intersecting trajectories - - you know, one of them drama things.

Truisms that might seem trite out of the context of this movie, turn out to be inspiring in the hands of the dynamite cast. (Except for Jack Nicholson, who's completely wasted here (probably by his own choice too) - - I can imagine him doing different line readings of his dialogue in all his earlier movie incarnation's intonations - - though I suppose there is some truth to his portrayal of male aging).

And I don't mean to paint How Do You Know as a humorless Masterpiece Theatre episode - - it really is funny throughout. It's certainly no Hangover absurd cruel raunch, but rather a sweet comic tale of what felt a lot like I was watching real life. The romance was pleasantly unpredictable (yeah, right!) and the triangle farcically believable. And just for fun, and a break from the fashion of this year's holiday movies, there were no sick or dying characters - - everybody walks away from this one!

All the elements came together quite well, though by the end there seemed to be no end.

Definitely worth seeing for it's low key chemistry.


5 out of 5.


Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:14 am
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Sbil
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Post Re: How Do You Know
How Do You Know is only sporadically funny and definitely overlong, but there are enough small moments of success sprinkled throughout to make it at least passable. While this movie is definitely a disappointment in the grand scheme of things considering its pedigree, I suppose it could have been worse. Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson are all their charming selves in this film, even when Jim Brooks' script had me reeling from some of their neuroses. Jack Nicholson is mostly on hand to mug his way through his screen time, though. With a tighter focus and the complete elimination of the Nicholson/Rudd subplot, this probably would have been a genuine success. Instead, it settles for being an acceptable diversion and not really much more. B-


Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:42 pm
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Wallflower
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Post Re: How Do You Know
Way overlong for a movie with no plot. I only saw it because a friend wanted to see it and I made her watch The Fighter, which she thought looked terrible. She ended up finding that ok, but even she disliked this. In fact, she seemed to hate it more than I did. It's not terrible, there's just nothing to it. I thought Rudd and Witherspoon were enjoyable. Liked their scenes together. Kathryn Hahn stole the show. At times I found myself wishing the movie were about her instead.


C+

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Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:16 pm
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Post Re: How Do You Know
Oh. My. God. What a disaster. Writer/director James L. Brooks made a few fine films once upon a time, including Terms of Endearment and Broadcast News. In those '80s gems, he utilized his ensemble casts well and perfectly blended sentimentality, humor, and pathos. Broadcast News in particular stands out. Its characters were sharply defined, sophisticated, and unpredictable, and its various situations--in the bedroom and the newsroom--raised truly compelling questions. Over the years, however, Brooks has clearly lost it. If Spanglish was uneven and slightly unremarkable, How Do You Know (what a lame, lame title) represents Brooks' creative implosion. It is bad beyond words.

The film, a D.C.-set romantic comedy, is two hours long, which is already long by genre standards, but it feels much longer. Every scene is incredibly laborious. Perhaps burdened by his reputation as an "important" filmmaker, Brooks isn't satisfied simply telling a light love-triangle story, unfolding between Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson. No, he has to drown the film in half-assed subplots and themes. The biggest and dullest involves the Rudd character, a generic "businessman," and how he copes with an impending Federal investigation and possible criminal indictment. The scenes have no depth or context. They are just...there. Nothing in this movie resembles real life (not even the various apartments and offices where the story unfolds, as it was clearly largely shot on sitcom-style soundstages), so you can't say this subplot gives the film recession-era relevance, even if this was Brooks' misguided intent. As Rudd's character's father, Jack Nicholson collects a cool $12 million paycheck for six or seven scenes. In all of them, he appears agitated, out of breath, and lost. Most heartbreaking, none of the classic Jack charisma and magnetism is on display. Rarely has a titan been so squandered.

Of the other three stars, I'll give a pass to Owen Wilson, who lands a few funny lines and escapes with his dignity. Poor, poor Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd. Brooks leans on them so heavily, and they, God bless them, just can't sustain the pressure. Rudd is cute here and there, but he's often very manic, as if he's desperate to fill his scenes with an energy missing in the screenplay. No one else is on his wavelength. The performance becomes exhausting. Reese, too, is obviously super-game and eager to impress, but in the end she does a lot of "acting"--tears! scrunched faces! waving hands!--without a proper performance ever emerging. The fact all these characters are ciphers, defined by their professions and interior decorating rather than their hopes, dreams, or pasts, does the cast no favors.

God...just fuck this movie. By the end I was struggling to pay attention. The film believes it's frothy and romantic and whimsical and uplifting, but I found it extremely claustrophobic and unpleasant. I wanted to escape.

F

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Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:50 pm
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Post Re: How Do You Know
I can't get over this movie. ;) Such a stunning piece of shit. It all feels so artificial and pointless and inert. It's just INSANE well over $100 million was spent on this.

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Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:41 am
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now we know
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Post 
How Do You Know

An odd, odd film. It's stilted and lacks an identity. It doesn't know whether it wants to be a rom-com or a relationship-life drama. The fusion of the two conjures up an awkward, drawn-out bore that lacks a touching, heart-felt spine and is absent of so much potential fun and hilarity. The cast try their damnedest, but they cannot lift what is a soporific bore. Nothing is done even in post-production. It is not sharply edited or jazzed up. It honestly feels like each filmed scene was attached to the next one as it reads in the damp squib of a script, add some generic rom-com music, and the job's a good'un.

I'm such a sucker for this type of film, too. I'm who these films are made for, yet this is one big fail. Reese Witherspoon's ditzy, irritating character can fuck right off, and Owen Wilson's shallow, brainless baseball player is a waste of his typically lovable charms. Rudd is fine, but he's batting solo here. Gotta feel sorry for him.

D


Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:30 pm
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