How Do You Know

So I found myself watching this rom-com, which fortunately featured the ever-delectable Reese Witherspoon. She plays a very mature (meaning emotionally stable, not old) athlete who is cut from the team because of age (well, a bit old, if 30-ish counts). Witherspoon’s character avoids self-pity, and doesn’t blame others for her problems. She doesn’t know what she wants out of life, but is open and accepting about that.

Owen Wilson is looking a lot older and more haggard; here he plays a positive-thinking baseball star with girls on tap. He’s insensitive and seems to do the romantically accepted thing extremely reluctantly, but he’s never malicious, and the resolution of his character is actually rather touching.

Paul Rudd is the male lead, too trusting for Sarbanes-Oxley (somehow his negligence is portrayed as a virtue), and prone to over-disclose on blind dates. Fortunately for him Witherspoon is so kind – the typical woman would in a taxi leaving the restaurant and blocking his number after his first outburst.

Perhaps it’s just the rom-com genre, but everyone is very talky, especially about their feelings. Paul Rudd begins the movie with a woman who speaks about their relationship in a very analytical, detached manner. The plot felt all over the place, throwing up all sorts of random scenes that I had trouble caring about: a minor character makes an extemporaneous speech, and when he finds out it didn’t record properly, actually makes it again. Jack Nicholson brings a lot of life to the proceedings, but he seemed to exist in a parallel world that barely intersected with the main love triangle.

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