How Do You Know (2010)

Directed by James L. Brooks
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson

I guess the big question with this romcom chick flick is, "How Do You Know?" How do you know you should rent it? How do you know should watch it? How do you know you should stream it? How do you know you should even read this review? Well, I watched this movie and I DO KNOW.

Now, I could be mysterious. I could linger on what I actually know and what I don't know. I could save the best part for last. Like any great mystery I could wait until the final moments of this review and pull one last reveal, What I actually know. Or, I could tell you now....

But, wait! I won't do that. Because isn't the formula of every great chick flick this...guy and girl meet...they can't get together...they get together, kiss, and live happily ever after....roll credits. That IS the formula. I've seen enough to know. I've even studied it a little bit. So, why would I tell you what I actually know (i.e. kiss, and live happily ever after) and let the credits roll? But, wait again...


...which would mean...that I should just go ahead and tell you what I know. But, let me digress for a moment...

"How Do You Know" is about about a Team USA softball player named Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) whose life spins out-of-control when she is unexpectedly cut from the team. She gets together with Matty (Owen Wilson), a not-to intelligent, womanizing, professional baseball player.

Wait a minute...

"How Do You Know" is about corporate everyman George (Paul Rudd) whose life is in crisis as he is in the middle of a federal investigation. He works the hotheaded Charles (Jack Nicholson), who also happens to be his father.

And, somewhere in the middle Lisa and George meet because they all live in DC.

NOW, let me digress...

I was living in DC when they shot this movie. My co-worker, Paul, and his wife, Abby, actually sat next to Owen Wilson while he was dining at the Four Seasons. Name-dropping is fun.

Let me digress some more....

I was bored with my job and so I actually applied to work on, "How Do You Know". Only thing is I didn't know how to get in touch with anyone. So, like this review the mystery began and after hours of investigation I found a contact to send my resume. It was a lonely email address. I sent this off and dreamily imagined running to get coffee for the great James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, As Good As It Gets), and 24 hours later I received this automated reply;

Thank you for contacting us at How Do You Know Inc. As you can imagine, we receive a great deal of emails and cannot personally respond to every one. Please be assured that we have received your resume and it will be delivered to the proper department.

Was it automated? How Do I Know? (I must say though after years of dragging myself around the gutter of the film industry, any reply, good or bad, is golden.)

So, finally, you ask....WAS THE MOVIE ANY GOOD?

First, let me talk about the beer. A cool, and refreshing Corona Light. No, it was not anything special. It's Corona Light (see picture). And, of course it had nothing to do with the movie. Other than the fact that I DID KNOW what it tasted like.
Hmm....hmmmmmmm....(sorry had to clear my throat).....


DON'T! IT SUCKED! It should have been called, "Who gives a @#$%!". Really, it was that boring and that bad. Which is really a shame. I love James L. Brooks. I love Owen Wilson. I love when they have worked together in the past (see Bottle Rocket). I like Reese Witherspoon. Paul Rudd is great. And, Jack Nicholson is, well, Jack Nicholson.

So, what happened? HOW SHOULD I KNOW? (roll credits)

1 out of 10 (1 mean he'll hate it, 10 means he'll love it) - Both of you can skip this all together.

Watch if you liked
...two stories that are stuck together and don't really make sense.

Chick Flick: 1 carton of ice cream (out of 5)
Beer: 1 manly high fives (out of 5)- It's Corona Light (see picture).


  1. I think it is really sad how both Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd habitually continue to be part of bad movies. They were both so promising in their early roles. Sigh...I miss Bottle Rocket days. I mean why does Owen Wilson continue to typecast himself as a womanizer in nearly ALL of his recent movies. At least you could laugh at him in Wedding Crashers and the one where he was a scrub living and masturbating on his married buddy's couch. It must just be painful to watch him in a romantic comedy.

    And don't even get me started on Paul Rudd...I seriously might have had a mammoth man crush on him around the Anchorman/40 yr. Old Virgin time frame. Scratch that...I did have a man crush. However, he has consistently disappointed me in movies that looked promising and funny (Role Models and I Love You Man) but just looked mediocre and staged. I used to love his almost improvish lines that were so ridiculous they were hilarious. He just looks like he's trying too hard.

    Now it seems that Hollywood wants him to be this uber sensitive nice guy that gets jerked around by stereotypical women that go for the dillweed guy and finally "see" how deep and thoughtful the nice guy is after the dillweed breaks their heart. I will most definitely not see this movie. The previews looked horrible, the fact that Reese Witherspoon is an ex softball player makes it even more laughable. I mean have you ever seen a real female softball player? They are not dainty and fragile looking like Witherspoon that's for sure. Thank god I have a kid and my wife and have no time to sit around and waste time watching yellow mustard baby poo like this.

  2. I definitely don't know especially how it ended. I fell asleep watching this around the same time lil Phil fell asleep. On a related note, I actually remember calling you after our Owen Wilson sighting. Can't believe he got put up in the Four Seasons to make this film. Peace Joshua B. Simpkins.