IMDb > How to Deal (2003)
How to Deal
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How to Deal (2003) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 26 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
How to Deal -- Mandy Moore stars as Halley, a young hip high school student who believes that love will never happen to her. All seems lost until she meets a boy who shows her what love is all about.
How to Deal -- Theatrical Preview
How to Deal -- pre, "Coming Soon"


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5.7/10   8,130 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Sarah Dessen (novels)
Neena Beber (screenplay)
View company contact information for How to Deal on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 July 2003 (USA) See more »
Rule #1 There are no rules. See more »
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... Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A piece of "love propaganda" See more (95 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Mandy Moore ... Halley Martin

Allison Janney ... Lydia Martin

Trent Ford ... Macon Forrester

Alexandra Holden ... Scarlett Smith

Dylan Baker ... Steve Beckwith

Nina Foch ... Grandma Halley

Mackenzie Astin ... Lewis Warsher

Connie Ray ... Marion Smith

Mary Catherine Garrison ... Ashley Martin
Sonja Smits ... Carol Warsher
Laura Catalano ... Lorna Queen

Ray Kahnert ... Donald Sherwood

Andrew Gillies ... Buck Warsher

John White ... Michael Sherwood
Alison MacLeod ... Sharon Sherwood

Bill Lake ... Ed

Charlotte Sullivan ... Elizabeth Gunderson
Philip Akin ... Mr. Bowden
Claire Crawford ... Seamstress

Ennis Esmer ... Ronnie

Thomas Hauff ... Minister
Darryl Pring ... Big Burly Guy

Patrice Goodman ... Carla
Audrey Gardiner ... Ginny Tabor

Jayne Eastwood ... Mrs. Toussaint
Judi Croon ... Reporter (as Judy Croon)

Sandi Ross ... Marcella
Gabrielle Ashry ... Dixie Cup Girl
Dana Reznik ... ER Nurse
Darrin Brown ... Steely Dan Fan
Darrell Hicks ... Soccer Coach (as Darrell Jordan Hicks)

Jon Hyatt ... Skanky Guy
François Klanfer ... Guest
Sharlene Yuen ... Female Fan

Jeff White ... Die-Hard Fan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Peter Gallagher ... Len Martin (uncredited)

Inna Korobkina ... Flight Attendant (uncredited)

Directed by
Clare Kilner 
Writing credits
Sarah Dessen (novels "Someone Like You" and "That Summer")

Neena Beber (screenplay)

Produced by
Toby Emmerich .... executive producer
Ted Field .... executive producer
Mathew Hart .... co-producer
Erica Huggins .... producer
Scott Kroopf .... executive producer
David Linde .... executive producer
Sharon Seto .... field producer: EPK
Stephanie Striegel .... co-producer
William Teitler .... producer
Chris Van Allsburg .... executive producer
Michele Weiss .... executive producer
Original Music by
David Kitay 
Cinematography by
Eric Alan Edwards 
Film Editing by
Shawna Callahan 
Janice Hampton 
Casting by
Avy Kaufman 
Production Design by
Dan Davis 
Art Direction by
Andrew M. Stearn 
Set Decoration by
Carolyn 'Cal' Loucks 
Costume Design by
Alexandra Welker 
Makeup Department
Heidi Armstrong .... makeup artist (as Heidi Da Costa)
Sylvain Cournoyer .... makeup artist
Lydia Pensa .... assistant head of hair department
Production Management
Mathew Hart .... unit production manager
Diana Lui .... production supervisor: additional photography
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jeff J.J. Authors .... first assistant director
Marco Black .... first assistant director
Darrin Brown .... third assistant director
Penny Charter .... second assistant director
Raymond J. Duff .... assistant director
Janet Zdyb .... third assistant director
Art Department
Carlos Caneca .... assistant set decorator
Beth Gilinsky .... art department coordinator
Rob McCallum .... storyboard artist
Linda McKenney .... daily set dresser
Jeffrey A. Melvin .... assistant property master
Steven Samanen .... graphic designer: reshoots
Toni Wong .... assistant property master
Sound Department
Jon Ailetcher .... sound mixer: additional photography
Robert Carr .... sound recordist
Paul Curtis .... supervising sound editor
Chris David .... sound re-recording mixer
Henry Embry .... production sound mixer
David Esparza .... sound editor
David Hadder .... boom operator (as Dave Hadder)
Amy Hammer .... mix facility coordinator
Shawn Kennelly .... foley mixer
Chris Navarro .... adr recordist
Nancy Nugent .... dialogue editor
Terry Rodman .... sound re-recording mixer
John C. Stuver .... dialogue editor
Mario A. Vitale .... first assistant sound editor
Matthew T. Duncan .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Kaz Kobielski .... special effects coordinator
Mark Rice .... key special effects
Dean Stewart .... special effects office administrator
Visual Effects by
Christopher Dusendschon .... digital imaging: iO FILM
Chris Ervin .... digital compositor
Christopher Grandel .... trailer digital effects, Howard Anderson Company (uncredited)
Darrell Hicks .... stunt coordinator
Steve Lucescu .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Scotty Allan .... gaffer
Anthony .... video assist operator
Pierre Berube .... best boy rigging electric
Sam Bojin .... best boy electric (as Samuel Bojin)
Russel Bowie .... a camera
Cylvan Desrouleaux .... additional camera assistant
Carson T. Foster .... grip
Candide Franklyn .... camera operator: "a" camera
Sophie Giraud .... still photographer
Mandy Kane .... assistant camera: "b" camera
Robyn Link .... camera loader: additional unit
Mark Manchester .... key grip
Anthony Nocera .... video assist operator
Danny Piva .... electrician
Davidson Tate .... rigging gaffer
Shai Vera .... electrician
Casting Department
Robin D. Cook .... casting: Canada
Jessica Daniels .... casting assistant
Aric Dupere .... extras casting assistant
Donna Dupere .... extras casting
Brad Gerstl .... extras casting
Nicole Hilliard-Forde .... casting associate: Canada
Aaron Unrau .... extras casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Laura Alvarez .... wardrobe
Loreen Lightfoot .... costume cutter
Steffany Bernstein Pratt .... costume supervisor: re-shoots (as Steffany Bernstein)
Editorial Department
Diane Brunjes .... assistant editor
Matt Cluett .... trainee assistant editor
Joe Fineman .... post-production consultant
Brigitte Rabazo .... first assistant editor: Canada
Jason Solberg .... first assistant editor
Mike Stanwick .... color timer
Music Department
Bob Bowen .... music executive
Jon Leshay .... music supervisor
Lise Richardson .... music editor
Skye Sweetnam .... composer: song "Billy S"
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer
William Levine .... music preparation (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Ron Annabelle .... picture car captain
Tim Hilts .... transportation coordinator
Wayne Ireland .... head driver
Eli Lozano .... driver
Sandra Ninham .... transportation captain
Other crew
Kate Abernathy .... assistant: Mr. Linde
Samantha Armstrong .... script supervisor
Allison Bergstrand .... assistant: Mr. Field
David M. Chisholm .... assistant production coordinator
Ken Dhaliwal .... finance legal
Tracy Fedak .... second assistant accountant
Wendy Gaboury .... key accountant
Steven Gorel .... publicity intern
Matt Graver .... assistant location manager
Morgan Hunwicks .... production secretary
Fred Kamping .... location manager
Lisa Kojola .... assistant: Mr. Teitler
Theresa Larche .... assistant: Ms. Kilner
Scott Allen Logan .... location manager
Scott Allen Logan .... location manager: additional photography
Dahla MacKenna .... stand-in
Ron MacKenzie .... location production assistant
Vair Macphee .... production coordinator
James E. Mastroianni .... production secretary
M. Adrian Monroe .... assistant: Ms. Huggins
Tim Owen .... assistant location manager
Golan Ramraz .... production assistant (as Golan Ramras)
Kerry Ann Redmond .... first assistant accountant
Deborah Ross .... title designer
Wonder Fortune Serra .... assistant: Mr. Kroopf
Todd Shannon Jr. .... water safety
Robert C. Shannon .... water safety
Chris Shaw .... assistant location manager
Michelle K. Smith .... production assistant
Vess Stoeva .... accounting assistant
Ryan Tighe .... additional production assistant: additional photography
Dave Tommasini .... helicopter pilot
Karen Tyrell .... unit publicist
Cassidy Watkins .... assistant: Mandy Moore
Suzanne Welch .... assistant: Mr. Field
Daniel Villagomez .... credits administrator (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, drug material, language and some thematic elements
Philippines:99 min | USA:101 min | Argentina:102 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Last cinema film of Nina Foch.See more »
Continuity: When Halley is sitting with her grandmother on the bench in the backyard, the grandmother's right arm is around Halley's shoulder. The grandmother's hand jumps from 'cupping' her shoulder to hanging straight down in front of it to 'cupping' it again, depending on the shot.See more »
Halley:Some people fall in love. I had to crash into it.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014)See more »
Wild WorldSee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A piece of "love propaganda", 21 November 2013
Author: Steve Pulaski from United States

How to Deal would work so much better as a teen film refusing to conform to cookie-cutter ideology if it didn't always seem like it was contradicting what it originally set out to do. Whether this issue was brought on by Sarah Dessen, the author of That Summer and Someone Like You, which the film is based off of or screenwriter Neena Beber is up to debate, but for whatever reason, How to Deal feels like a rebel being proved wrong, foolish, and worthless and I doubt that's how it was originally conceived.

The story revolves around seventeen year old Halley Martin (Mandy Moore), who becomes disillusioned with the concept of love because of how it appears in her own life. Her mother is going through a rocky time after divorcing Halley's dad, a senseless manchild of a radio-jockey and her sister's forthcoming marriage with another man that seems to be made up of nothing but fighting and bickering. So, because of these two things, Halley simply doesn't believe in love anymore and goes on with her life with that mindset.

This, right here, should be the plot of How to Deal, but strangely, Beber (or Dessen, perhaps) decides to throw the film for a loop and have Halley be the subject of a love story with the geeky hunk Macon (Trent Ford). This is where How to Deal seems to be contradicting itself. The film should be revolving around Halley's life rejecting love, perhaps embracing hobbies, becoming more artistic and sociable in her life and at school, or even just being more comfortable around guys with the conflict potentially being rejecting her family and mistaking her family's love for ingenuous behavior if something were to go wrong in her life.

Instead, the film brings up a romance, which feels offputting because it gives the message to young teens who maybe have questions about love the impression that if they think real love doesn't exist they are wrong and foolish because it does. How to Deal plays like "love propaganda," in the sense that its goal appears to be convincing a segment of the population who have rejected romantic notions and the idea that love makes people blind to reality (usually hard-hearted realists or mature pessimists) see the stupidity of their ways and rethink their initial thoughts.

Early on, when the film is still trying to show us that Halley may be on to something with her ideology before pulling a complete three-sixty with the story, we get a glimpse at Halley with her close friend watching Halley's sister argue with her ex. Halley makes my aforementioned statement about love making people blind to reality by showing that, while they fight and argue, they will kiss and make up in a contrived way in just a few minutes. Such a thing unfolds. Right there, the film has just proved Halley's point by saying that love makes people ignore or lessen the bad in life because they are so in awe with the person they are with. However, just a few scenes later, Halley is seen falling for Macon in a way just as contrived as the events we just saw unfold.

Because of this, little additional features about How to Deal can be admired, with the exception of the cast's uniformly solid performances in making their characters at least somewhat believable in their personalities. Not every person in high school is like the cast of American Pie and How to Deal tries (if stumbling in the process) to show this segment in a way that doesn't appear condescending. Mandy Moore seems to be born to play the role of a rebellious teen girl, questioning conventions within society and conformity due to a heavily-praised idea. It isn't her fault that the potential impact of her character is cheapened by a screenplay that has an abrupt change in its message halfway through the film.

Another compliment, as back-handed as it sounds, is that How to Deal is never boring despite what I find to be a glaring inconsistency with its story and message. Many poorly-done romantic comedies become tired early on and very repetitive, but the characters and their actors decide to be upbeat about their roles and all seem committed to the material. Perhaps they saw something I'm missing. This is an entry in the new genre I'll call "love propaganda" and I'm hoping another film won't fall into that category.

Starring: Mandy Moore, Allison Janney, and Trent Ford. Directed by: Clare Kilner.

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