Rating: 3/10 - Very Bad
There is said to be a curse that affects the Best Actress Oscar winners. They either lose their errant husbands, choose dud roles or slide into obscurity. Or all three. I was hopeful that Reese Witherspoon would not be one of them. From her performance in Man in the Moon to Walk the Line, she showed a certain style in her choice of film. Then along came this one.
Director: James L. Brooks. Screenplay: James L. Brooks. Producers: Julie Ansell, James L. Brooks, Laurnce Mark and Paula Weinstein. Executive Producers: Richard Sakai and John D. Schofield. Cinematogrpaher: Janusz Kaminski. Editor: Richard Marks. Music: Hans Zimmer. Production Designer: Jeannine Claudia Oppewall. Costume Designer: Shay Cunliffe. Distributor: Columbia Pictures. Starring:Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson and Owen Wilson. Running Time:121 Minutes.
Not that I can blame Ms Witherspoon for choosing to work with James L. Brooks. Who wouldn't? Terms of Endearment. Broadcast News. As Good as it Gets. Oscar winners. It also highlights his magic with working with Jack Nicholson who appears in all three.
But the magic inherent in all of his previous films, is AWOL here.
This is an utterably dull tale of Lisa (Witherspoon) who is a professional softball player who has been cut from her team. She is aimless, directionless and carries such a blank expression I felt like hurling her some Valium to get her through. She is set up with George (Paul Rudd). There is no chemistry in their first meeting, and for the viewer that's pretty much how it stays. He's under investigation for any number of dodgy dealings, providing the unwilling scapegoat for his father (Jack Nicholson)and seems to have misplaced his spine at the Lost and Found. Lisa is having a fling/relationship/something or other with Matty (Owen Wilson), a cardboard cut-out ladies man.
The movie ambles along. It's neither funny nor dramatic. The talents of its four stars are completely wasted. The dialogue is truly dull. Can I think of anything to redeem it? Yes. It's excellent for those suffering from insomnia.
How Do You Know is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.