Kindly ignore the deceptive array of billboards posted around Los Angeles presenting quotes like “Reese Witherspoon At Her BEST!” and “Funniest Film Of The Holiday Season!” Writer/director James L. Brooks teams up with the usually charming Reese Witherspoon along with Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson, and Paul Rudd for one of poorest displays of cinema I’ve seen since I Love You, Philliip Morris. Be sure to dodge How Do You Know at all costs – it opens in theaters this weekend…

The Players:

The Plot:

Lisa (Witherspoon) gets cut from her pro softball team. Bummer. Later that afternoon she accepts an invitation for a blind date with George (Rudd), who is having an equally tragic day, given that he may or may not be headed to jail for a financial crime. Lisa’s convinced the date was an epic bore while George is convinced she’s the woman of his dreams. Lisa decides it’d be far more fun to date pro baseball player, Matty (Wilson), who has the I.Q. of a lemon. Is George willing to fight for love? You’ll sure find out!

The Bad:

  • Structure: Whomever is responsible for green-lighting this project should be hiding under a rock in the Philippines. The central issue, which ultimately sprouts many, is the film’s structure. Brooks attempts to pull the randomly correlated story-line bit  (which has proven successful for several rom-com’s like Love Actually, He’s Just Not That Into You, etc)  and fails.
  • Reese Witherspoon: If it were possible for the Academy to revoke awards, Ms. Witherspoon would be walking on thin ice. This is by far the worst performance of her career. Presumably aware that her 5’5, petite blonde swag doesn’t exactly line up with that of a softball star, Witherspoon made astronomical efforts to drop her voice four octaves and walk/slouch/gesticulate like a “dude.” Her performance was also strikingly devoid of comedic timing – a rarity for Witherspoon
  • Characters: There is nothing particularly appealing or relatable about the four featured characters, which leaves the audience detached from/uninterested in their respective stories.
  • Jack Nicholson: Had no part in this film.

The Good:

  • Owen Wilson: Never, ever fails to humor an audience. His character was both a womanizer and imbecile – and I loved every minute of it. Thank you, sir, for contributing the only redeeming aspect of this film.

Overall:

Do not see this film.

Rating: 1/10

The film opens nationwide December 17.