5.6/10
9,039
97 user 45 critic

How to Deal (2003)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 July 2003 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
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), Neena Beber (screenplay)
Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A meddling mother tries to set her daughter up with the right man so her kid won't follow in her footsteps.

Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht
Saved! (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a girl attending a Christian high school becomes pregnant, she finds herself ostracized and demonized, as all of her former friends turn on her.

Director: Brian Dannelly
Stars: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A happy newlywed marriage counselor's views on wedded bliss get thrown for a loop when she finds out her parents are getting divorced.

Director: Dermot Mulroney
Stars: Mandy Moore, Kellan Lutz, James Brolin
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Anna wants to be like other girls her age (18): date a guy etc. but she's the US president's daughter and always guarded. In Prague he breaks his promise of only 2 agents following her to a concert and she runs away with Ben to see Europe.

Director: Andy Cadiff
Stars: Mandy Moore, Matthew Goode, Mark Harmon
Dedication (2007)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The romantic comedy follows a misogynistic children's book author who is forced to work closely with a female illustrator instead of his long-time collaborator and only friend.

Director: Justin Theroux
Stars: Billy Crudup, Mandy Moore, Tom Wilkinson
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A reverend puts an engaged couple through a grueling marriage preparation course to see if they are meant to be married in his church.

Director: Ken Kwapis
Stars: Mandy Moore, John Krasinski, Robin Williams
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A suburban couple decide to shake up their marriage by "swinging" with another couple.

Director: Jonathan Newman
Stars: Martin Freeman, Mandy Moore, Jonathan Silverman
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Four best girlfriends hatch a plan to stay connected with one another as their lives start off in different directions: they pass around a pair of secondhand jeans that fits each of their bodies perfectly.

Director: Ken Kwapis
Stars: Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Four college freshmen and best friends find that it may take more than a shared pair of jeans to help them stay in touch as their lives go in different directions.

Director: Sanaa Hamri
Stars: America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, Amber Tamblyn
Strike! (1998)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the 1960s, a group of friends at an all girls school learn that their school is going to be combined with a nearby all boys school. They concoct a plan to save their school while dealing with everyday problems along the way.

Director: Sarah Kernochan
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Lynn Redgrave, Gaby Hoffmann
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The true story of Gwen Araujo, a young trans woman who was brutally murdered by four men in 2002.

Director: Agnieszka Holland
Stars: Mercedes Ruehl, JD Pardo, Lupe Ontiveros
Sugar & Spice (2001)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A popular high-school cheerleader becomes pregnant by the star quarterback and turns to crime to support her desired lifestyle.

Director: Francine McDougall
Stars: Marla Sokoloff, Marley Shelton, Melissa George

Photos

Edit

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:

Rule #1 There are no rules. 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Is a combination of the Sarah Dessen novels "Someone like You" and "That Summer" See more »

Goofs

Towards the end, Halley and Macon are dancing in the hallway. Nurses are visible in the background, in the next shot, they disappear. See more »

Quotes

[Michael is shopping around for a card for Scarlett with the "assistance" of Macon]
Macon Forrester: [reading a card] Let me count the ways that this card can be used to induce... nausea, gastric distress, vomiting.
Michael Sherwood: Yeah, go ahead and mock me, but this is serious. I need to find something funny and something sweet - just the way Scarlett is. Remember that time I got her...
Macon Forrester: Okay. Look, here's one.
Michael Sherwood: Not helping.
[Macon starts reading a card]
Macon Forrester: "From small beginnings come great things."
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Promise Ring
Written by Justin Dillon and Mike Busbee
Performed by Tremolo
See more »

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.


32 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 97 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

New Line

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 July 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

How to Deal See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,800,000, 20 July 2003

Gross USA:

$14,195,227

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,390,329
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 »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed