21 user 15 critic

How to Be (2008)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 28 August 2009 (Italy)
1:54 | Trailer
A young man having an existential crisis convinces a Canadian self-help guru to come to London and become his personal life coach.


Oliver Irving


Oliver Irving
6 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Pattinson ... Art
Rebecca Pidgeon ... Mother
Powell Jones Powell Jones ... Dr. Ellington
Jeremy Hardy ... Jeremy
Michael Irving Michael Irving ... Father
Mike Pearce Mike Pearce ... Nikki
Johnny White Johnny White ... Ronny
Alisa Arnah Alisa Arnah ... Jessica
Joe Hastings Joe Hastings ... Dave
Biddy Rowe Biddy Rowe ... Woman at Old House
Tim Rowe Tim Rowe ... Boy at Old House
Bart Kusse Bart Kusse ... Child Art
Augustin Irving Augustin Irving ... Child Father
Mirabel Kelly Mirabel Kelly ... Woman in Supermarket
Bernard Kelly Bernard Kelly ... Landlord


At first fancying himself an "enigmatic poet", twenty something Art gradually realizes that he must take action if he's going to escape his depressed life as a struggling musician in London. A solution comes in the shape of a book titled "It's Not Your Fault". Not content to just draw inspiration from its pages, however, Art invites the elderly author of the book to come live with him and his parents, which quickly becomes a painfully funny journey about dysfunction and growing up. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes we all need a little help


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the scene which Art talks to the boy in his old bedroom (29:30), a poster of a Cyberman from the BBC TV series Doctor Who (2005) can be seen on the bedroom wall. See more »


During the bar scene, the level of beer in Art's glass jumps around several times, from nearly full to nearly empty and back again. See more »


Mother: Why are you smiling?
Art: I got a surprise for you and dad.
Mother: Don't say that dear.
See more »


References The Karate Kid (1984) See more »


Have Love, Will Travel
Written by Richard Berry
Performed by The Sonics
See more »

User Reviews

I don't get British humor
9 December 2013 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

Art (Robert Pattinson) is a depressed poet musician who is searching for some meaning in his life. His mother (Rebecca Pidgeon) doesn't get it. His girlfriend breaks up with him. He finds a self-help web site touting Dr. Ellington (Powell Jones)'s book "It's Not Your Fault". He is so in awe that he convinces the author to come live with him.

I don't get the humor. It is undoubtedly very quirky. But it's also very dull. There is no energy anywhere on the screen. Robert Pattinson does a good and proper job of portraying this confused depressed kid. I think he's the only one working here. Everybody else is ridiculously mannered. The doctor is super creepy without being funny. Rebecca Pidgeon is stiff as a board.

The plot, the writing, the dialog, the acting all lack any power. It's only an indie is not a good excuse. This is really a movie for Pattinson fans only. Because he's the only good thing here.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

28 August 2009 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

How to Be See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK


Box Office


GBP500,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

How To Be Films See more »
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Technical Specs



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