How Do You Know parents guide

How Do You Know Parent Guide

While the film doesn't offer any answers to life's most difficult questions, at least it demonstrates that a little companionship and concern can be a good thing while a person searches.

Overall C

How do you know when you are in love? Lisa Jorgenson (Reese Witherspoon) thought it would be obvious, but it is not when she considers her current relationship with Manny (Owen Wilson). And it gets even more complicated when she starts dating George (Paul Rudd).

Release date December 17, 2010

Violence B
Sexual Content C
Profanity D
Substance Use C-

Why is How Do You Know rated PG-13? The MPAA rated How Do You Know PG-13 for sexual content and some strong language. Edited For Rerate After Appeal Previously rated R in 2010

Run Time: 121 minutes

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Parent Movie Review

If professional athletes are hoping to debunk their stereotypical reputation as egotistical womanizers, Matty (Owen Wilson) won’t help. The multimillion-dollar pitcher has a bathroom drawer full of toothbrushes for his overnight guests and a closet outfitted with pink jogging suits that he hands out as parting gifts to those women. He also hosts get-togethers where his teammates bring their girlfriends instead of their wives. (There is some concessions made for the Christian players who party in a separate room.)

So his insensitivity shouldn’t be a surprise to his current fling, Lisa Jorgenson (Reese Witherspoon). When she is cut from the US Women’s National Softball team, he is unable to muster any real compassion, although he eventually invites her to move in with him as consolation.

The 31-year-old female athlete hesitates at first. While competing in the Olympics and World Championships, she hadn’t given much thought to her future. Now it is upon her and she isn’t prepared. In time, Lisa does move into Matty’s high-rise apartment but not before she meets George (Paul Rudd). The young businessman, unbeknownst to her, has just been served with a subpoena and is under investigation for a financial crime he didn’t commit. Because both are overwhelmed by their current personal circumstances, neither of them is good company on their first blind date. However, as movie coincidences go, they run into each other again.

What ensues is an oddball relationship. It is not quite a love triangle since Matty loves Lisa but not as much as he does himself. George loves Lisa but is afraid to admit it since he fears he is headed for jail. And Lisa is just confused.

Unfortunately, this goofy comedy doesn’t take full advantage of either the actors or their characters. Witherspoon, best known for her perky roles, comes across as more ditzy than delightful. Too often her character reacts to life’s events with a dumbfounded stare, possibly from being bonked on the noggin by a softball one too many times. George’s personality swings between anxious neurotic and a kind-hearted confidant. But his solution for dealing with trouble is often alcohol. Rather than keeping a clear head, he occasionally becomes drunk and later invites Lisa to do the same. Matty is such an exaggerated portrayal that it is hard to believe Lisa, or any other woman, would ever consider building a long-term relationship with him. The script, which was originally rated R, also suffers from a battery of profanities including at least two strong sexual expletives and frequent sexual innuendo.

Yet while being far from recommendable, even this plot has its redeeming moments. Despite his quirkiness, George is a man of honesty and honor, and maintains that even when facing unwarranted consequences and the wrath of his father (Jack Nicholson). He is not so caught up in his own problems that he can’t show some sympathy to Lisa, as well as his pregnant assistant (Kathryn Hahn) who is worried about losing her job during the company’s turmoil. Lisa’s coach (Molly Price) also doesn’t desert the despondent player when she is at her most vulnerable point.

While the film doesn’t offer any answers to life’s most difficult How Do You Know questions, at least it demonstrates that a little companionship and concern can be a good thing while a person searches for his or her own conclusions.

Directed by James L. Brooks . Starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson. Running time: 121 minutes. Theatrical release December 17, 2010. Updated

How Do You Know
Rating & Content Info

Why is How Do You Know rated PG-13? How Do You Know is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual content and some strong language. Edited For Rerate After Appeal Previously rated R in 2010

Violence: A young boy pushes a girl to the ground. A softball player is hit in the face with a ball. A man is accused of financial crimes. A drunken character falls down the stairs. A father berates and manipulates his son. A woman attempts to hit a man.

Sexual Content: Characters frequently and frankly discuss their sexual escapades including condom use. A couple is shown in bed together (without nudity) on a couple of occasions. Sexual sounds are heard in one scene. A man sings suggestive song lyrics. A man places his hand on a woman’s clothed breast while dancing.

Language: The script includes at least two strong sexual expletives along with frequent moderate and mild profanities, scatological slang, crude sexual phrases and terms of Deity.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Social drinking is depicted on several occasions. Some characters become intoxicated as a way to deal with stress.

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More parents' guide for How Do You Know after the break...

How Do You Know Parents' Guide

What does George’s father mean when he says, "Anger can be useful but watch out for bitterness"?

Lisa has her mirror smattered with inspirational quotes. Can these messages encourage people to do better? Would or do you post them in your home?

Lisa wasn’t ready for her dismissal from the team. What other life events might catch someone unprepared? How can a person anticipate changes like retirement, job loss, a new baby, empty nests or graduation?

While it is impossible to know exactly what someone is experiencing, how can a person show sympathy to another during difficult times? How does George interact with his assistant? What attempts does Matty make?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of How Do You Know movie is March 22, 2011. Here are some details…

How Do You Know is releasing to DVD and Blu-ray on March 22, 2011 with the following bonus extras:

- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by James L. Brooks

- Blooper Reel

- Featurette: Extra Innings

- Commentary with Filmmakers

-  Select Scenes Commentary with James L. Brooks and Owen Wilson

How Do You Know on Blu-ray also includes the following extras:

- Interactive Script Gallery

- Featurette: The George (with Optional Commentary with James L. Brooks)

- Featurette: A Conversation with James L. Brooks and Hans Zimmer

- Additional Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by James L. Brooks

Related home video titles:

Reese Witherspoon plays another character caught in a love triangle in Sweet Home Alabama. Other women who think they are involved in a relationship until they meet a handsome stranger include Leap Year and Letters to Juliet.