5.7/10
8,791
96 user 45 critic

How to Deal (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 July 2003 (USA)
Trailer
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...

Director:

Clare Kilner

Writers:

Sarah Dessen (novels), Nena Beeber (screenplay) (as Neena Beber)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Laura Catalano ... Lorna Queen
Ray Kahnert ... Donald Sherwood
Andrew Gillies ... Buck Warsher
John White ... Michael Sherwood
Alison MacLeod Alison MacLeod ... Sharon Sherwood
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

New Line

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 July 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enamórate See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,809,960, 20 July 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,108,518, 10 August 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last cinema film of Nina Foch. See more »

Goofs

When Scarlett goes over to Halley's house to discuss symptoms she is eating grapefruit. After complaining that Halley's 'perfume' smells she puts the plate of grapefruit to her right. But in the overhead shot of her and Halley we see that the grapefruit is still on the pillow in her lap. See more »

Quotes

Halley: I imagine star wars figurines must be expensive
Macon: I don't have Star Wars figurines... well, not many. But I don't play with them... much.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Trent Ford Profile (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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 NOT a romantic comedy

New Line has sold this movie short and filed it as a Romantic Comedy but I must stress it is not. It's a teen drama with some romance and humor. Think of it as a teen version of American Beauty. Though it's all rather light, How to Deal does have some seriousness and important parts.

Mandy Moore (marry me?) is Halley Martin, a teenage girl who refuses to believe that true love exists (like me). Her best pal does but is heartbroken when her boyfriend drops dead on the football field of a heart defect (err...like me). Halley's parents have split and found others, her sister is engaged to some guy and all they do is argue. It seems like the best way to deal with love is to avoid it.

All that changes when Halley meets Macon (stupid name) a geeky Star Wars nerd. He seems like a dweeb at first but his character grows on you, as he does Halley. He's played by Trent Ford and on the cover he's wearing a white vest and is marketed as a sexually neutral, non-threatening pretty boy (Orlando Bloom, Justin Timberlake etc) but that ain't him or his character at all and he never appears in a vest at any point in the movie. I expected to hate him just because of the cover but that ain't so. In the course of her steadily strengthening relationship with Macom (really, what a stupid name!) Halley learns how to deal with teen pregnancy, being a bridesmaid, her dope-smoking grandmother, car crashes, stepmoms, stepdads etc. Stuff that every kid learns. Real kids, not the kids that make love to pastries or live in mansions, which are the only 2 types of kids Hollywood thinks exist.

Taken from 2 separate novels by Sarah Dessen called 'Someone Like You' and 'That Summer' it's possible that How to Deal might have a sequel. And if it does its literary roots guarantee it will a better sequel than most.

I recommend How to Deal for anyone who is sick to death of endless American Pie clones or Harold and Kumar or Maid in Manhatten/Laws of Attraction/Two Weeks Notice/Sweet Home Alabama/blah blah blah. It's not a romantic comedy, not by a long shot. It's far more realistic than that and it doesn't insult your intelligence. Give it a go.

The DVD is in great-looking 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound. The extras are actually quite good for a change, one of them focusing on Young Adult Literature and it's definitely a good DVD for the price.


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