How To Deal


Yes, it’s embarrassing that I have seen this Mandy Moore vehicle. What’s even more embarrassing is that I’m in the (possibly unique) position of being able to compare it to the other Mandy Moore film, A Walk To Remember.

I quite enjoyed this teen romcom. But, I won’t spend too long on the review lest you never visit this site again.

How to DealFirstly, Ms Moore (that can’t be her real name, can it?) is in my opinion a very good actress. Much better than her main competitor, Mandy carries out the highs and lows of the character admirably. Similarly to A Walk To Remember and Britney’s Crossroads (no, not the one with the Karate Kid), the makers have been intelligent enough to surround the star better known for her singing and synchronised dancing skills with fantastic supporting actors. Allison Janney is truly fantastic, and this helps dispel any notions that this is simply a movie made to help sell some cds.

The main problem is this… As all teen movie filmmakers know: teens love catharsis. Thus the film’s characters are going to be put through situations that in real life would be extremely traumatic, but here are merely stepping stones to happy endings. I do appreciate that the makers are simply targeting their audience, but in How To Deal I believe that some really horrible things happen that are treated way too lightly.

That being said, I was well and truly ‘cathartised’. The movie was funny and I cared about the people in it. The only other problem was that I didn’t like her romantic interest much at all. The charisma and charm seemed no more than skin-deep, and to not like one of the two parties in a romcom is a bad thing.

But, all in all I really liked this movie and was left with a warm mushy feeling which I was able to bottle and store away (and will bring out to have a sniff of next time I have a bad day.) More Mandy Moore movies most appreciated.

Oh, crap. I did go on for a while, didn’t I? Even though I promised I wouldn’t…

Rating: 3 stars
Review by Stuart Wilson, 15th March 2004
Hoopla Factor: 4 stars

Shaun of the Dead Thirteen