Projections - Movie Reviews

How to Deal

How to Deal

Mandy Moore lights up the screen and gives this teenage film a much needed lift.

She plays Halley, a 16 year old coping with her parents' (Peter Gallagher and Allison Janney) divorce, her older sister's wedding and her father's remarriage to a woman she refers to as "the Bimbo."

Based on young adult novels by Sarah Dessen, How To Deal packs in a whole lot of complicated issues; perhaps too many.  It touches on teenage pregnancy, first love, dys-functional families, death of a friend and the stress of growing up.  All while romantic music plays in the background.

Gallagher's character is a goofy D.J., but Janney's performance as a woman trying to heal after a bitter divorce, rings true.

Trent Ford plays Halley's friend who wants to be much more.  He looks a bit like a young Ashton Kutcher and does a good job in some uncomfortable scenes.  Only I wish he'd wash his hair and cut the bangs that are forever covering his eyes.

The story changes from lighthearted to heavy subjects so quickly, it doesn't give enough emphasis to the important issues it deals with.  Even so, teenagers will most likely identify with the Mandy Moore character, and she's a joy to watch for the rest of us.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Howard
Jennifer
Kathleen
Avg.
How to Deal
B+
C+
 
 
C
 
 
C+
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