Wednesday, March 9, 2011
How Do You Know
The movie was How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson. I was expecting a typical rom-com, so maybe it was easy to exceed my expectations.
But that was before I knew James L. Brooks was the writer/director.
I've always enjoyed his sensibilities (Broadcast News, Terms of Endearment, As Good As It Gets, Spanglish). I'm guessing that the episodes he penned of Taxi and Mary Tyler Moore were among my favourites... he must have started young though, because he also wrote for the Andy Griffiths Show and My Mother the Car.
There is one memorable scene where Lisa (the character played by Reese) impulsively drops in on a psychiatrist and then just as impulsively leaves. Just before she goes, she turns abruptly and then asks him, if he were going to give one bit of general advice, the kind of advice anyone could follow and it would make their life better, what would it be? He says it is a good question, and then answers her seriously, "Figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it."
Good advice, indeed.
The characters all struggle for growth and honesty, and there are a lot of great moments in the film.
Lisa's dilemma is choosing between two great but flawed guys. She has a natural sense of comic timing and balances the qualities of strength and vulnerability brilliantly. I'm looking forward to watching her take on Marlena Rosenbluth in Water for Elephants.