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How to Deal (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 July 2003 (USA)
2:32 | Trailer

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A teenager (Moore), disillusioned by too many examples of love gone wrong, refuses to believe that true love exists. Then this new guy (Ford) comes along...



(novels), (screenplay)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Beckwith
Grandma Halley
Lewis Warsher
Ashley Martin
Sonja Smits ...
Carol Warsher
Laura Catalano ...
Lorna Queen
Donald Sherwood
Buck Warsher
Michael Sherwood
Alison MacLeod ...
Sharon Sherwood


Halley is a young high school student who is disillusioned with love after seeing the many dysfunctional relationships around her. Her parents are now divorced and her father has a new young girlfriend she doesn't care for too much. Her mother is now always alone; and her sister is so overwhelmed by her upcoming wedding that she barely leaves the house anymore. On top of that, the shallowness of all the girls and guys at her school convinces Halley that finding true love is impossible. A tragic accident, however, leads her to meeting Macon, and suddenly Halley finds that true love can occur under unusual circumstances. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A lesson in love for non-believers. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug material, language and some thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 July 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enamórate  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,809,960 (USA) (18 July 2003)


$14,108,518 (USA) (8 August 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last cinema film of Nina Foch. See more »


When the family is on their way back from dinner at Ashley's future in-laws', Lydia agrees with what Ashley is saying, but in the screen change, her lips don't match to what she's saying. See more »


Halley: Oh Macon, I think I like you too much already to actually go out with you.
Macon: What kind of logic is that?
Halley: It's logical logic. Haven't you ever noticed that when two members of the opposite sex get together eventually someone ends up getting hurt?
See more »


References Sixteen Candles (1984) See more »


Why Can't I
Written by Lauren Christy, Scott Spock, Graham Edwards and Liz Phair
Performed by Liz Phair
Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

It's true, it's bad
5 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

How to Deal is not a good movie. It's a stab at a more adult and grown up teenage film and while it doesn't suffer from bad acting, it does suffer from a horribly written script and what is most likely apathetic directing.

Mandy Moore is a decent actress, not great, but decent, and aside from Peter Gallagher, she isn't put up against too many big names, so she holds her own. The problem is that all of these actors are trapped inside a poorly written movie. There are too many specific instances where this film just doesn't cut it. It boils down to this, Mandy's character has to deal with her parents divorce, her sister's wedding, her father's remarrying, her best friend getting pregnant with her deceased boyfriend's baby (it's not what it sounds like), and the fact that despite her misgivings about love, falling in love with the high school clown named Macon. Yes, his name is Macon. The point is there is way too much going on and the movie does not adequately set up any of these events. At one point Haley (Mandy Moore's character) blows up over her Mom not believing that she could remember the last time Haley's comet passed by. She claims no one believes her when she tells people how she feels. Unfortunately, we never see anyone not believing her in the film and it seems more like the director told Mandy to blow up and get angry in this scene without telling her why. Other problems include a random car crash into a tree head on that leaves a Honda Civic hatchback with nothing but a cracked windshield. It leads to laughter it what is supposed to become an emotional scene. There are a few funny moments, but not many. Allison Janney as Mandy Moore's mother is quirky but not funny although she has the only laughs in the movie.

There is just too much wrong with this movie for anything to be right. It has no real point or plot, the acting is mediocre, and you will laugh at parts that are supposed to be dramatic. I can't think of anything good to say at this point, so I probably should say nothing at all.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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