5.6/10
9,198
98 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)

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mandy Moore was 18/19 during filming. 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."
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Beyond Clueless (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Thinking About Tomorrow
Written by Beth Orton, Ted Barnes, Sebastian Steinberg and Sean Read
Performed by Beth Orton
Courtesy of Heavenly Recordings/Astralwerks/Capitol Records
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User Reviews

 
A pleasant surprise
8 July 2004 | by stills-6See all my reviews

I almost considered passing up watching this one, but I'm glad I didn't. This movie has all the hallmarks of a bad afterschool special, actually four or five of them smashed together. But just when you think it's about to fall off a cliff of cliches, something unexpectedly intelligent happens. Just when it's about to turn into a tear-jerker, the director puts her camera, almost joyfully, above the rain to show everyone shielding themselves with the church program. Just when you think it's going to turn into a soppy love story, the characters flee from each other, scared out of their minds at the possibility. Just when you think it's going to be a soap opera, Mandy Moore acts her way out of the paper bag that people seem to pigeon-hole her into. You get the idea.

The actors all do well, especially Allison Janney, who puts a real edge to a role that could have easily been mush. I must admit, though, Peter Gallagher, usually a reliable guy, doesn't do much with his aging hipster role. The real joy here is Moore. She's got just enough stuff to hook you into the story, and she's just raw enough that she'll make you believe. And, yeah, the dialogue is corny here and there, but not outrageously so. I have to hand it to the director to keep everyone loose enough to pull off some of these lines, and to make the shots interesting enough for us to care what happens when they do.

The plot, which does have its convolutions and weird devices, is not nearly as interesting as Halley's growth as a character. It's basically a character piece wrapped in a teen romance. And Moore brings it all together.


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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 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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