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How to Deal 2003

Critics score:
28 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: This movie is the worst episode of Gilmore Girls ever. Read more

John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press: How to Deal might be a serviceable drama for kids. For anyone with a driver's license, though, Moore's sophomore vehicle hits too many wrong notes. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: How to Deal can't make up its mind what it is, which makes for a confusing experience. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: I've seen a lot of dumb teen romances in the last couple years, but How to Deal, is a welcome exception. Read more

Ellen Fox, Chicago Tribune: [A] more-thoughtful -than-average film. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: After a while the bad lighting, graceless editing, sluggish dialogue and self-conscious performances begin to seem like marks of authenticity, as if the movie had been made not just for and about teenagers, but by them. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A much better deal than you're probably expecting. Read more

Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times: Some moments ring true, others seem contrived, but the film is by and large sustained by strong central performances and by its depth. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: How to Deal is a 'dramady' of a film, with first-time director Clare Kilner fighting valiantly to balance its heaviness with humor. Though it's no Terms of Endearment, she pulls it off. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: In an age when most teenagers are up to their eyeballs in postmodern consumer glitz, [Moore's] movies seem radical not just in their retro squareness but in their unfashionable embrace of faith over ironic flippancy. Read more

James Adams, Globe and Mail: There's a kind of timeless, weirdly chaste 'nowhereness' to the whole enterprise, its dilemmas and behaviours as applicable to 1973 as 2003. Read more

Matt Weitz, Dallas Morning News: Require[s] only the presence of Scott Baio to qualify as fodder for an after-school special. Read more

Hazel-Dawn Dumpert, L.A. Weekly: [Kilner and Beber] neglect to give an idea of just how Halley does deal with a crisis before moving on to the next, be it tragic or comical. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: A movie which you will find almost unbearable unless you are 1. already a huge Mandy Moore fan, 2. 12 years old and 3. clinically dead. Read more

Bob Campbell, Newark Star-Ledger: Promising to serve up life's complexity, Clare Kilner's movie doles it out in bite-sized, predigested portions. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: May serve as training wheels for the next generation of romance novel fans. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: It's too heavy on issues and too light on just observing the characters and enjoying their freshness. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Painless to watch, but it's marred by some significant flaws. Read more

Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle: A picture that's all over the map. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It's refreshing to see young people grappling with substantive matters for a change, but Clare Kilner piles on enough angst to fuel a month of soap opera. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Daphne Gordon, Toronto Star: Very melodramatic. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Moore and Ford rise above the hackneyed story, infusing the proceedings with their own chemistry and appeal. If only the adults responsible for this film could learn how to deal. Read more

David Rooney, Variety: A bland romance that suffers from choppy development, dramatic overload and dearth of personality. Read more

Derek Elley, Variety: Read more

Laura Sinagra, Village Voice: Producers smooshed the plots of two Sarah Dessen teen novels into one flick. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Another soundtrack-driven, disposable, not entirely objectionable teen movie. Read more