Monday, July 4, 2011

A Conversation with How Do You Know

Yes, usually I have a convo with movies that are widely seen and are regarded as 'must-sees'. But I haven't watched any of those this week (unless you count the entire X-Men series, but I'm saving them for a later post). So for this week's edition, our trusty film-interviewing man Christopher is going to chat to How Do You Know, a rom-com bomb starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.

(Newbies: There is no way that I actually talked to a film. This is just based on a bad characterisation of a movie. And Christopher, the interviewer, is not based on anyone living or dead. He's just named after a ginger cat which I don't have because Mum won't let me have it. So this is as good as it gets for me.)

CHRISTOPHER: Thank goodness I'm out of the middle of nowhere, and I'm back to civilisation. But hey, I'm chatting to How Do You Know, which was made for $120,000,000. Talk about fancy, right?
HOW DO YOU KNOW: Yes, well I guess it is hard getting such popular actors like Reese, Owen, Paul and Jack. Okay, maybe not Paul, he stars in a lot of different stuff. But Reese? Oh, she's like America's little sweetheart. She was in that really popular movie Legally Blonde. And she got big. She won an Oscar and BOOM! Popularity. Her performance in Legally Blonde sure was Oscar-bait though, so I'm glad she won for her portrayal of a mentally challenged yet very fashionable young lady.

C: She didn't win an Oscar for Legally Blonde. She won an Oscar for Walk the Line.
HDYK: What?! I always thought she was more suited to playing a fluffy romantic lead. Because she's always Oscar-worthy in that role. Which is why I chose her.

C: Why did you choose Owen and Jack?
HDYK: Owen is just an all-round good guy. I loved him in Marley & Me. I really wanted to see him play that kind of role again. So I couldn't make his dog die again. But I could wreck his relationship, which would be almost as sad. Old Owen didn't want just Marley & Me though. He wanted to dumb it up a bit. Which I thought suited the rest of me. Fortunately, he was a bit of light relief. Isn't it fun watching dumb people being dumb?

C: In moderation...
HDYK: It's fun. Just agree with me.

C: Well, not the way you put it. But I guess Owen did provide some light relief. But please explain to me why Jack Nicholson was in this movie.
HDYK: Because he seems exactly like the kind of actor who you give a backseat role to. And he hasn't been in a movie since The Bucket List so I'm sure people have forgotten about him.

C: Oh yes of course, because you forget about an actor who currently holds the record for the most Oscar wins as a male.
HDYK: Hey, it's not my fault that he was in The Bucket List. Sheesh. He's found a good niche being on auto-pilot though.

C: Well, at least his version of auto-pilot is somewhat good. Now, tell me some plot details.
HDYK: Plot details? You seriously want plot details from a romantic comedy?

C: No, I just asked that to be funny.
HDYK: In that case, even I admit that your one joke is funnier than my several attempts at joking around.

C: That is probably true. But I still want some plot details, as my readers probably want to know why you think you're so different.
HDYK: Uh. It's about baseball. It's a sports movie! At heart, anyway. Okay, so there's a baseball player, Lisa (our dear Reese), who like, sorta starts going out with another baseball player, Matty (Owen). But Matty is a bit of a douchebag, and you usually see Lisa angry at him a lot. As if she doesn't have enough trouble, George (Paul), who is a pretty annoying, pessimistic and borderline depressive (no, he's just depressing to watch) comes into her life. He has a bit to be angry about though, because he pretty much faces some bad legal action. Alas, the story is all about Lisa trying to found out whether she can ever be in love or not, which must be a pretty annoying question when she just got cut from her baseball team due to her age. In fact, Lisa's story is just pretty annoying.

C: So you're saying that you are different because you're annoying?
HDYK: No, because just about every romantic comedy is annoying. I am different because I try to hide the fact that I am just a silly comedy. I try to hide myself behind a slick and witty dramatic veneer. Because I like to look a lot smarter than I actually am, I try to look as slick as my promising cast, and I want people to think that I am not your average look at love. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I take myself far too seriously even though I do say some stupid things, I can't hide behind my good cast when they aren't entirely on form and I'm sure people have probably seen something similar to this before. One thing I do have over other romantic comedies is the fact that my lead female character isn't actually that annoying (even though her story is). It's actually one of the male lead characters who is really annoying. That's George, by the way. He is so awkward it hurts.

C: Even though "you take yourself too seriously", is there still a good time to be had?
HDYK: There are a few laughs here and there. Good, decent laughs. Otherwise, the two hour running time can get a bit tedious.

C: I feel awful making you say how bad you are. You tried, you really tried, but something didn't work.
HDYK: Deception worked for me.

C: Indeed it did.
HDYK: I broke a few lamps when people didn't like me. But I had to stop since I only earned a quarter of my budget back and I didn't wouldn't add another $1,000,000 to my losses. Never again will I hire such seasoned actors for something which no one wants to see.

C: Any last words?
HDYK: "Never drink to feel better, drink to feel even better!" Except I can't drink at all...since I lost so much money...

My rating for the film:


  1. Hi, it's magnoliaforever here, commenting with my real name.

    I guessed this movie would be crappy and your review confirms it. Jack Nicholson doesn't even rouse my interest anymore, and that's sad. However, the interviewing technique is a great way of making fun of a bad movie without sounding whiny.

  2. Yet to see this one, but I guess will have to pass now. It seems amazingly boring even with star studded cast. Thanks for reminding,its been really long since I have seen a Jack Nicholson movie and yes the interview is an novelty. Nice!!

  3. I came across this film when there was nothing interesting on tv. I watched for exactly 12 minutes before I had to turn it off. The lame-ass story and poor characters physically hurt me! Love these "conversation" posts though

  4. Tyler - I was looking at Jack Nicholson's filmography and he doesn't star in a lot these days. Mind you, he should have done something better than this!

    Aditya - Yeah, definitely pass it. Thanks!

    Chelsea - I know exactly how you feel! Thanks!

  5. Stevee, I simply love these interviews. I read this one, even though I haven't seen this movie, I never wanted to see, and I will never want to. Great job!!

  6. That's what I wanna hear! Avoid at all costs! Thanks :D

  7. The final budget of the film if you counted the marketing cost was a grand total of $150 million. It's final gross was nearly $49 million worldwide.

    I understood that the salaries for the actors and director cost a total of $50 million with the production being $70 million due to James L. Brooks' approach to directing, re-shoots, and post-production that makes Terrence Malick's improvisational idea of filmmaking look tame.

    If I was a studio head, I'd fire everyone including myself for this mess.


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


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