How to Deal

( 14 )

Overview

For what possible reason could this soap opera melodrama of over-privileged teen angst deserve a "Platinum Series" DVD? Love or hate this movie, there's no question that it's a fine DVD all around. The 1.85:1 image, enhanced for widescreen televisions, is natural, full of detail, and exceptionally pleasing to view. Colors are especially well presented -- not overly vivid, but realistic and satisfying. As would be expected, there isn't a distracting element to be found in this theatrical-quality transfer. The 5.1 ...
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Overview

For what possible reason could this soap opera melodrama of over-privileged teen angst deserve a "Platinum Series" DVD? Love or hate this movie, there's no question that it's a fine DVD all around. The 1.85:1 image, enhanced for widescreen televisions, is natural, full of detail, and exceptionally pleasing to view. Colors are especially well presented -- not overly vivid, but realistic and satisfying. As would be expected, there isn't a distracting element to be found in this theatrical-quality transfer. The 5.1 Dolby Digital track isn't what would be expected from a recent studio film, but that doesn't change the fact that this is a well-rounded soundtrack, simply lacking any significant depth. Adding greatly to this title is a full assortment of supplements, the staple for this particular line from New Line. Hardly revelatory about the filmmaking process, a scene-specific commentary from stars Mandy Moore, Alexandra Holden, and director Clare Kilner is pleasant enough to listen to, as they obviously enjoyed their time working together. Surprisingly, a documentary on the history of young adult literature, from the early 1900s to the present day, is genuinely interesting. Interviews with current writers and the teens that read their works give a better understanding of this particular genre. Three other featurettes, profiles of Moore, Trent Ford, and Kilner, don't hold up as well. Each is under eight minutes long and comes across as promotional pats on the back. Far more interesting are two deleted scenes, an alternate version of the wedding, and an alternate ending, all with optional commentary. What would a teen film be without music videos? Included here is "Billy S." by generic teen rocker grrrl Skye Sweetnam and the far more interesting "Why Can't I" by Liz Phair. Finally, along with the theatrical trailer for this film, are previews for other New Line titles, including Elf, Sugar & Spice, and Love & Basketball.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Four deleted scenes; Cast/director commentary; Four featurettes: "Moore on Mandy," "Macon Trent," "To Be Clare" ; "How to Deal With Y.A. Literature"; Music videos: Skye Sweetnam's "Billy S." and Liz Phair's "Why Can't I"; Theatrical trailer; DVD-ROM content
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Adorable Mandy Moore, easily the most wholesome and grounded of today's female teen superstars, exhibits impressive acting chops in this delightfully offbeat romantic drama. She perfectly conveys the angst of a young girl whose outlook on life has been colored by her experiences in a dysfunctional family. Halley Martin Moore is disillusioned about love, and not without good reason: Her father Peter Gallagher has run off to live with a much younger girlfriend; her mother Allison Janney is justifiably bitter and short-tempered; and her self-absorbed older sister Mary Catherine Garrison is consumed with the planning of her wedding. So it's not surprising that Halley maintains her protective cynicism when bad-boy classmate Macon Forrester Trent Ford lavishes his attentions on her. Based on the popular novels by Sarah Dessen, How to Deal avoids extremes in its approach to plot and character; triumph and tragedy alike are depicted with realism and restraint. Moore's Halley is charming and easy to relate to, precisely because she seems so real, and for that, Moore and director Clare Kilner can share equal credit. The supporting cast is quite strong, especially the always dependable Janney, but the dramatic burden squarely rests on Moore's slender shoulders, and she handles it with grace and aplomb. Whether they can identify with Halley or not, teens will certainly enjoy watching this winning character cope with the various dilemmas that How to Deal throws at her.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
Though it deserves credit for delving into the messier aspects of teen angst, popster Mandy Moore's second starring vehicle is as schizophrenic as the adolescent-girl mood swings it attempts to deconstruct. It becomes apparent early on that How to Deal's title is purely ironic, as Neena Beber's script -- adapted from not one but two young adult novels by Sarah Dessen -- finds most of the major characters avoiding major life crises with a cheery oblivion. There's just too much going on here for a 100-minute movie: Death, teen pregnancy, parental midlife crises, sibling nuptials, pot-smoking grandmas, and civil-war reenacting boyfriends all rear their ugly heads with alarming alacrity. How to Deal's slapdash editing, intrusive voice-over, and incessantly upbeat score don't help matters -- one gets the feeling that test audience/studio intervention won out over a more concise, emotionally resonant cut of the film. Certainly, the film is faultlessly performed: Allison Janney is warm and convincingly conflicted as the recent divorcée working out her own abandonment issues through her daughter, and the natural, understated Moore delivers on the promise she showed in the nerdy A Walk to Remember. Balancing humor with pathos is no easy task -- especially for a teen movie -- but week after week, TV's My So-Called Life accomplished just that, making How to Deal's missteps seem even more disappointing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/9/2003
  • UPC: 794043675720
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Line Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1), Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Pan & Scan
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 7,417

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Mandy Moore Halley
Allison Janney Lydia, Halley's Mom
Trent Ford Macon
Alexandra Holden Scarlett
Dylan Baker Steve Beckwith
Nina Foch Grandmas Halley
MacKenzie Astin Lewis Warsher
Connie Ray Marion Smith
Mary Catherine Garrison Ashley Martin
Sonja Smits Carol Warsher
Peter Gallagher Len Martin
Glynis Johns
Technical Credits
Clare Kilner Director
Jeffrey Steven Authors Asst. Director
Neena Beber Screenwriter
Shawna Callahan Editor
Dan Davis Production Designer
Eric Alan Edwards Cinematographer
Eric Edwards Cinematographer
Henry Embry Sound/Sound Designer
Toby Emmerich Executive Producer
Ted Field Executive Producer
Janice Hampton Editor
Erica Huggins Producer
Avy Kaufman Casting
David Kitay Score Composer
Scott Kroopf Executive Producer
Jon Leshay Musical Direction/Supervision
David Linde Executive Producer
Cal Loucks Set Decoration/Design
Andrew M. Stern Art Director
Stephanie Striegel Co-producer
William Teitler Producer
Chris Van Allsburg Executive Producer
Michele Weiss Executive Producer
Alexandra Welker Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen and Special Features
1. Main Titles/Big Ugly Hat Day [6:37]
2. Daddy Dawg [4:04]
3. Macon Mind Trick [5:11]
4. Wedding Hassles [4:11]
5. The World Stops [6:39]
6. Life Changes [13:37]
7. Meeting the Warshers [7:13]
8. Normal [4:30]
9. Conduct Unbecoming [5:00]
10. Happy New Year [9:48]
11. Missing [2:53]
12. Bachelorette [4:27]
13. Apologies and Advice [10:10]
14. Romance on the Air [4:00]
15. Wedding Day Delivery [7:21]
16. End Credits [5:50]
Side #2 -- Fullscreen
1. Main Titles/Big Ugly Hat Day [6:37]
2. Daddy Dawg [4:04]
3. Macon Mind Trick [5:11]
4. Wedding Hassles [4:11]
5. The World Stops [6:39]
6. Life Changes [13:37]
7. Meeting the Warshers [7:13]
8. Normal [4:30]
9. Conduct Unbecoming [5:00]
10. Happy New Year [9:48]
11. Missing [2:53]
12. Bachelorette [4:27]
13. Apologies and Advice [10:11]
14. Romance on the Air [4:00]
15. Wedding Day Delivery [7:21]
16. End Credits [6:10]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Widescreen and Special Features
   Play Movie
   Set Up Options
      5.1 Surround Sound
      Stereo Surround Sound
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
      Spanish Subtitles: On
      Spanish Subtitles: Off
   Select a Scene
   Special Features
      Feature Commentary With Mandy Moore, Alexandra Holden and Director Clare Kilner
      Feature Profiles: "Moore" on Mandy
      Feature Profiles: "Macon" Trent
      Feature Profiles: To Be "Clare"
      "How to Deal' With Y.A. Literature|00:28:15|}
      Deleted/Alternate Scenes
         Play All
            Play Without Commentary
            Play With Commentary
         The Mothers on Marriage
            Play Without Commentary
            Play With Commentary
         An Uncertain Mother-to-Be
            Play Without Commentary
            Play With Commentary
         Alternate Wedding
            Play Without Commentary
            Play With Commentary
         Alternate Ending
            Play Without Commentary
            Play With Commentary
      Music Videos
         Music Video: "Billy S" by Skye Sweetnam
         Music Video: "Why Can't I" by Liz Phair
      Theatrical Trailer
      More From New Line
   DVD-ROM/Online Features
Side #2 -- Fullscreen
   Play Movie
   Set Up Options
      5.1 Surround Sound
      Stereo Surround Sound
      English Subtitles: On
      English Subtitles: Off
      Spanish Subtitles: On
      Spanish Subtitles: Off
   Select a Scene
   DVD-ROM/Online Features
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    sometimes when you have a singer that's trying out to be in movies, it can work and can't work. it works surprisingly for singer mandy moore. she was just like...adorable in this and i loved that haircut of hers. so happy that she cut off that awful uneven punk rock style that she has for her hair at the beginning of the movie. she had the right look for a teen and loved her clothes, especially her purple bridesmaid dress and the necklace. anyway, this is based on two books by author sarah dessen, that summer and mostly someone like you. here we have halley and her insecurities on love. halley deals with her older sister ashley getting married, her father remarrying, her mother a little pissed about it, happy for her best friend who found her love but later tragedy ensues and later a surprise is in store for scarlett and of course her friend macon. wow that is quite a lot to deal for a teenager. mandy holds the film together with her baby cheek of a smile and shows that she can too act than just be a singer. Mandy Moore (Halley) and Alexandra Holden (Scarlett) seem to have good chemistry and could be best of friends. trent ford (macon) is kind of cute. the rest of the actors do alright and the film is cute and sad. you can either read the books first then see the movie or see the movie then read the books. and lastly i didn't see this just because of mandy moore or trent ford "sort of true", but from the trailers seemed like an okay movie. The grandma was funny and the scene with the dog at Ashley's house was unexpected and a little funny. The ending was sweet.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    someone

    it was great. they truely kept it the same as sarah dessen's books as much as possible. it is funny and sweet at the same time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This movie is an interesting one. I love Sarah Dessen's novels, so naturally, this movie was a must-see. It was good, but I wouldn't watch it for the sake of Mandy Moore or anyone else. I'd watch it for the fact that it's catchy, fun, and brings a new aspect to the acclaimed novels. If you've seen the movie, I strongly recommend you read the books "Someone Like You" and "That Summer", which, mixed together, make up 'How To Deal'. If you've read the books, watch this movie- you'll see a new view to the exciting stories. All in all, this is great, and so is Sarah Dessen!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Greatest Mandy Moore Movie Evr!!

    This is the best movie evr. i love evrything about it. mandy moore is my favorite actress and her character is sincere and smart. trent ford is the hottest guy on earth; i'm so glad he was a character in this perfect movie. i absolutly hope u buy this movie. its so ausome!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    LOVE THIS! YOU HAVE TO WATCH!

    I love this movie, it is my 2nd favorite movie. I saw it when if first came out, and loved it. My parents bought me the DVD because I couldn't shut up aabout how good the movie was. I LIVE for Trent Ford, I totally love this movie, not only for Trent, but because I could relate easily to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie!

    I only saw the movie but i am sure the book is great. i love mandy moore, and this movie is a really sentimental one. its the kind of movie that touchces u. and i'm sure the book is the same way. its about a girl (haylei) and she has lots of problems, for example: Her sister is getting married, her parents got divorced and her dads a popstar, and tells the world hes getting married before her, her best friend scarlet's boyfriend micheal dies, and she becomes preagnent. the movie gives u a lot to think about, like why scarlet dicideded to save the baby instead of canceling the preagnency from her boyfriends death, wat this nerd is doing goin out with haley, and wat hes trying to do with her and so on. I definitly recomond this movie/book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    HOW TO DEAL!!

    I thought that How to Deal was a great movie! It was actually one of my favorites. This movie not only has a great love story to it, but also has many great newcomers. Mandy Moore who stars as Halley Martin has a great future ahead of her, Trent Ford who stars as Macon Forrester is one of my new favorite actors and Alexandra Holden who stars as Scarlett just did an amazing job. So if you are looking for a fun and romantic movie then How to Deal is perfect!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    this movie sucked

    This movie was terrible. There was not point to it. I was watching it wondering threw the whole movie what it was about! I really didn't like this movie, I highly recommend you do not buy it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A kagillion stars!

    How could people not like this movie? It's funny, is perfectly cast, and so much more! It is definitely on my top list of great movies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cute but predictable

    Definitely a renter... It is too dramatic to really believe... Rent it, see if you like..then buy it!:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Book is Great!!

    If the book was good I can only imagine that the movie will be better,can't wait to see it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews