All reviews all the time! Home   Movies   Music   Video Games
4 DVDs 49 cents each!  |  Rent Dvds- Free Trial  |  Buy Movie Posters  

 Search Amazon
  Browse Movies 

 Browse by Genre 

 Other Movie/Video Review
How To Deal

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: How To Deal

Starring: Mandy Moore, Allison Janney
Director: Clare Kilner
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 101 Minutes
Release Date: July a2003
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Alexandra Holden, Peter Gallagher, Trent Ford, Dylan Baker, MacKenzie Astin

Review by Harvey Karten
2 stars out of 4

Mandy Moore, a pop star well known among teen girls, is awfully cute. She resembles a young Sally Field and with her pouting, her smiles, her full-of-life beaming eyes, she acts the part as well. Her special fans may be happy just to watch her become mature in a matter of weeks in this coming-of-age tale and the young men in the audience who appreciate girl-next- door qualities may come away from "How To Deal" with a smile and a glow. Whether the film directed by Clare Kilner, filmed in a traditional manner by Janice Hampton with David Kitay's soundtrack pumping up the emotions offers anything new to the genre is another story. At best "How To Deal" would make a fine story for seven o'clock TV, maybe even become a series like A Young People's Guide to Friends. Cinematically the story could be called "No Big Deal." Saccharine, yes; dramatic, hardly. Aside from Ms. Moore's own down-home charm, Allison Janney's polished job as Everymom, and the puppy-dog looks of Trent Ford as The Guy Who Becomes Her First Love, the film is bogged down by some awfully silly characterizations (by Peter Gallagher as a hip dad and Nina Foch as a marijuana-toking grandma) and a helping of plain ol' banality.

Neena Beber's screenplay, adapted from Sarah Dessen's novels "Someone Like You" and "That Summer," revolves around 17-year-old Halley Martin (Mandy Moore) who at a tender age has already written off love as a fraud. No wonder. Her parents, Lydia (Allison Janney) and Len (Peter Gallagher), have just completed a divorce, her sister Ashley (Mary Catherine Garrison) is fighting regularly with her fianc‚ Michael (John White), her best friend Scarlett (Alexandra Holden) is emotionally crushed when tragedy befalls her boyfriend. Halley is tempted to quit the anti-love league when chased by school- mate Macon (Trent Ford). In the tradition of romantic comedies, the two are off-again, on-again, until the predictable close of the story.

The inevitable gropes are quite a bit tamer than what you'd expect from the rash of "American Pie" films, making the pic most suitable to the young women who adored "The Lizzie McGuire Story," some of whom are likely to be disappointed when comparing "Deal" to that one--given the deficiency of colorful characters such as the school principal who leads a group tour of Italy unless you get your kicks from watching granny toking up and saying embarrassing things at a formal dinner.

Copyright © 2003 Harvey Karten

More reviews:    Main  2  3   Next >>
Featured DVD/Video
Star Wars Episode II
buy dvd

buy video

read the reviews

In Affiliation with
Buy movie posters!

Home | Movies | Music | Video Games | Songs | | | Columbia House | Netflix

Copyright © 1998-2002
Privacy Policy |  Advertising Info |  Contact Us