How to Deal Reviews

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Derek Elley
Variety
February 23, 2012
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 31, 2003
The pop diva goes down with the bubbles in this hopelessly shallow soap opera.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 21, 2003
I've seen a lot of dumb teen romances in the last couple years, but How to Deal, is a welcome exception.
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Christy Lemire
San Francisco Examiner
July 19, 2003
| Original Score: C+
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 19, 2003
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 19, 2003
Painless to watch, but it's marred by some significant flaws.
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 19, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 18, 2003
A bad, unimaginative story posing pretentiously as the very opposite.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 18, 2003
Another soundtrack-driven, disposable, not entirely objectionable teen movie.
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Daphne Gordon
Toronto Star
July 18, 2003
Very melodramatic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Ted Fry
Seattle Times
July 18, 2003
Sounds like a bad episode of Dawson's Creek, but even the show's worst saga would have more emotional value than the tepid and amateurishly presented goings-on here.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
July 18, 2003
A picture that's all over the map.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 18, 2003
The film, based on Sarah Dessen's young-adult novels Someone Like You and That Summer, isn't that good. But Moore is.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
July 18, 2003
You do need a pretty strong stomach to swallow this sappy teen soaper.
| Original Score: 1/5
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Bob Campbell
Newark Star-Ledger
July 18, 2003
Promising to serve up life's complexity, Clare Kilner's movie doles it out in bite-sized, predigested portions.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
July 18, 2003
May serve as training wheels for the next generation of romance novel fans.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 18, 2003
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.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
July 18, 2003
How to Deal can't make up its mind what it is, which makes for a confusing experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Adams
Globe and Mail
July 18, 2003
There's a kind of timeless, weirdly chaste 'nowhereness' to the whole enterprise, its dilemmas and behaviours as applicable to 1973 as 2003.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
July 18, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 18, 2003
Despite attempts at seriousness, How To Deal remains a bland and mostly predictable coming -of-age story.
| Original Score: C
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 18, 2003
It's too heavy on issues and too light on just observing the characters and enjoying their freshness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 18, 2003
This movie is the worst episode of Gilmore Girls ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 17, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
July 17, 2003
Teen soap opera.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
July 17, 2003
Some moments ring true, others seem contrived, but the film is by and large sustained by strong central performances and by its depth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
July 17, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Kathy Cano Murillo
Arizona Republic
July 17, 2003
There's one way to deal with Mandy Moore's new drama, How to Deal: Don't.
| Original Score: 2/5
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AV Club
July 17, 2003
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Matt Weitz
Dallas Morning News
July 17, 2003
Require[s] only the presence of Scott Baio to qualify as fodder for an after-school special.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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David Rooney
Variety
July 17, 2003
A bland romance that suffers from choppy development, dramatic overload and dearth of personality.
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John Anderson
Newsday
July 17, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: .5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
July 17, 2003
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Ellen Fox
Chicago Tribune
July 17, 2003
[A] more-thoughtful -than-average film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 17, 2003
A much better deal than you're probably expecting.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Hazel-Dawn Dumpert
L.A. Weekly
July 16, 2003
[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.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 16, 2003
That rarity, a movie aimed at teens that doesn't insult their intelligence.
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Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
July 15, 2003
Producers smooshed the plots of two Sarah Dessen teen novels into one flick.