While I usually go out to the theater on Friday night, last night I decided to stay in. No offense to the fine films that are playing at the theater currently, but I am just not interested in seeing any of them. The ones that I wanted to see, I’ve seen. So I watched How Do You Know instead. This comedy from last year surprised me by how grown-up it was. I was expecting a silly movie about a love triangle, but in fact, How Do You Know was much more than that.
Reese Witherspoon plays Lisa, a star softball player who gets cut from the USA softball team. Reese has the uncanny ability to simultaneously pull off adorable and gorgeous. After she is cut she is left wondering what to do with her life. She is dating Matty (Wilson) who is a star pitcher for the Washington Nationals and notorious playboy who is half-heartedly looking for the one. Unbeknownst to Lisa, a friend has passed along her number to George (Rudd). George is a business man working for his father’s company until he receives a bit of bad news: he is being indicted. The pieces start to fall into place. George is the obvious commitment man, Matty is the carefree player, and Reese is the confused and vulnerable damsel in distress.
George calls Lisa initially to let her know that he is just calling to tell her he won’t be taking her out even though she didn’t know he even existed. The phone call is as odd as that sentence. He has a girlfriend and wants to see where it goes. However, when he receives the bad news from his father’s company, his girlfriend says they should take a break until he’s in a good place again.
George gets drunk on bloody marys and eventually just vodka on ice and sings into a lamp. He then gets the brilliant idea that he should call Lisa. They meet for dinner the following evening in one of the worse, most awkward dates ever. A crash and burn date, if you will.
In a bold and very adult move, Matty asks Lisa to move into his posh pad with him. Apprehensive at first, Lisa agrees. Matty is kind enough to clear out half of a sock drawer for Lisa and things seem to be going okay until George bumps into Lisa in the elevator of her building which is coincidentally also George’s father’s building.
The love triangle goes on and on and the movie does as well. It seemed a tad long to me, but the content was solid. I think you can probably guess how it ends. Someone does get a happily ever after. Rudd is at his finest in this role, proving he can do the serious thing as well as the funny thing. He does the awkward thing well, but he can also wear a straight face with ease.
How Do You Know made me question my own life, and I think it’s always a plus when a movie can take the viewer to that place. Something that is more profound than slapstick, pie-in-the-face humor. Not that I don’t appreciate a good fart joke, but sometimes it’s nice when a movie take a more mature look at things.