How to Deal (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  18 July 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 8,075 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 95 user | 46 critic | 29 from

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)


$61,305 (South Africa) (23 January 2004)

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 Lydia is in the kitchen ranting about her ex-husband, she is chopping carrots. The shot cuts away then cuts back to show her chopping the top off a zucchini. But, when the scene cuts away and back again, she is chopping the carrots again. See more »


Macon: You're going to move closer to me so I can wrap my arms around your waist. And on the count of 3... 2... 1
Macon: You're a good kisser.
Halley: You tricked me. You Jedi Mind Tricked me.
See more »


References Hulk (2003) See more »


Here Is Gone
Performed by Goo Goo Dolls
Written by Johnny Rzeznik (as John Rzeznik)
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Accept it on its own terms and don't expect "American Beauty"
14 February 2004 | by (Detroit) – See all my reviews

The bright primary colors in which the plot, dialog and characters of this movie are cast gives it away early on: this is a cross between a soap opera and a sitcom, made purely to entertain. As such, it's actually pretty good.

Mandy Moore is adorable. She seems to be learning how to act as she goes along, but isn't that how most of them did it? Give her a few more years and some better scripts to work with and she could be a major star.

The real problem is that for the movie's target audience of middle-class suburban white teenagers it's positively overflowing with groaners -- embarrassing "banter" between the kids, cartoonish characters (idiotic philandering husbands, evil boy-stealing girlfriends), and a preposterous storyline. My own teenage daughter and her friends thought How to Deal was, and I quote, "stupid." But for us middle-aged parents nostalgic for a time in their lives they've almost completely forgotten, it really isn't that bad. Give it a chance.

16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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