How Do You Know (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

How Do You Know2010

How Do You Know (2010)



Critic Consensus: How Do You Know boasts a quartet of likeable leads -- and they deserve better than this glib, overlong misfire from writer/director James L. Brooks.

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Director James L. Brooks returns to the helm for this ensemble comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd, and Owen Wilson, which centers on the story of a passionate athlete who finds herself romantically torn between a narcissistic baseball star and a straight-laced businessman. As far back as Lisa (Witherspoon) can remember, her life has been defined by sports. Then, in the blink of an eye, she's cut from the team. With her identity in crisis as she attempts to regain her footing in life, Lisa begins dating Matty (Wilson), a Major League Baseball pitcher and notorious womanizer. Meanwhile, terminally honest businessman George (Rudd) finds himself on the road to financial ruin or worse after being wrongly implicated in a financial crime. As George struggles to clear his name and reconcile his turbulent relationship with his father, Charles (Nicholson), a chance meeting with Lisa at the lowest point in both of their lives leaves him optimistic that things may work out after all. Meanwhile, Lisa and George both realize that the only thing that's certain about the future is that we never know what fate has in store for us. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Paul Rudd
as George
Molly Price
as Coach Sally
Ron McLarty
as George's Lawyer
Domenick Lombardozzi
as Bullpen Pitcher
John Tormey
as Doorman
Tony Shalhoub
as Psychiatrist
Dean Norris
as Softball Coach
Donna Dundon
as Annie's Mom
Cyrus Newitt
as Annie's Dad
Will Blagrove
as Matty's Teammate
William Blagrove
as Matty's Teammate
Andrew Wilson
as Matty's Teammate
David A. Gregory
as Matty's Teammate
Bill McKinley
as Maitre d'
Jim Bouton
as Bullpen Coach
Tara Subkoff
as Subpoena Woman
Mary Gallagher
as Other Female Coach
Aileen Zoccola
as Player's Wife
Sachi Jones
as Player's Wife
Amanda Moshay
as Player's Wife
Lyssa Lee Roberts
as Groped Girl
Seth Sanders
as Cocky Agent
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Critic Reviews for How Do You Know

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (57)

Three likeable stars and Jack Nicholson. Can you take this foursome and make a film that makes you want to barf the moment it opens? Yes, if the film is How Do You Know.

April 3, 2019 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Some of the bits are funny, every now and then they're sweet, the performances are OK and really, with this much talent involved, it's hard not to be disappointed in that.

August 12, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Though neither mindless nor insensitive, this interminable movie falls far short of Brooks's best work, which is to say Broadcast News and As Good As It Gets.

January 31, 2011 | Full Review…

Though the film was a box-office dud in the US, Brooks delivers an amusing and consistenly engaging relationship piece that is a cut above the standard romantic comedy.

January 28, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Instead of juicing it up with jokes, Brooks has inadvertently given us another story of the American condition, which is that of absolute and incorrigible self-centredness.

January 28, 2011 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

A fatuous and depressing parade of nothingness...

January 27, 2011 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for How Do You Know

Rom com with a good cast. Lisa finds herself without a job, moves in with her boyfriend then realises she is attracted someone else.

Candy Rose
Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

Hmm, well, based on the talent involved, this had the possibility of being amazing. Considering the reception this film got, I was a little befuddled, but was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Well, I've seen it now, and....the film is not terrible, just terribly mediocre. The main issues are that the script is just dull, the characters aren't really all that interesting, and everyone just looks bored and uninspired...especially Jack, who pretty much just phones it in and plays himself, but goes by the name of Charles. Also, this film, like many of Brooks's, goes on far too long, but here it's not worth it because the film isn't all that interesting. It's not a complete loss though. Reese and Rudd are actually decent, and I kind of liked their characters, but I couldn't stand Wilson here. He's just too frustrating and a little of his character goes a long way. Plus, there are a few good scenes, but overall, this film just seems all over the place, messy, and in need of some revisions. If you feel you need to see this, then see it, but catch it on tv or something. There are far worse films that are just as sweet and well-meaning, but this one was just really came off all the worse because there's some great people involved.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


Lisa: Never drink to feel better; drink to feel even better. How Do You Know is the story of Lisa (played wonderfully by the beautiful Reese Witherspoon) who got cut from her professional softball team and confused about her relationship with major league pitcher Matty (played by Owen Wilson in his usual knuckle-head and awkward role) and doesn't quite know what she's doing with her life. Enter corporate executive George (played by Paul Rudd in a surprisingly real and astounding performance), who is being investigated for something along with his father Charles (amazingly played by the legendary Jack Nicholson in another pitch-perfect role). The real scene stealer is Kathryn Hahn, who plays George's loyal, pregnant, and honest secretary Annie in her most hilarious role since 2008's hit comedy Step Brothers, where she played John C. Reily's love interest. Put all of this together, and we now have ourselves a James L. Brooks movie. Read the full review at

Matt Goodman
Matt Goodman

Super Reviewer

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