User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 71
  2. Negative: 35 out of 71

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Dec 20, 2010
    Whoa. There are a lot of bad reviews for this movie. That surprises me, because I loved it, and I'm not usually into romantic comedies. What makes this movie good is that it feels like it could really happen. Everybody has crappy days, and this movie is about finding the things in life that make you want to enjoy it again. The acting is really what makes this movie good. Paul Rudd is an extremely likeable lead, as is Reese Witherspoon. Heck, even Owen Wilson is fun to watch. But Jack Nicholson's character takes the cake. Most scenes, especially those with Nicholson, made me laugh out loud several times. This really is a sweet and funny movie, and I don't understand why it's getting such bad reviews, especially user reviews. It was wayyy better than Morning Glory. Expand
  2. Sep 27, 2011
    "How Do You Know" is just plain terrible. Despite the decent performances the movie fails to derive from something new and (literally) eats up a big cake of cliches and rom-com formulas. Its a film you want to watch in an airplane while taking a nap. Trust me, you will sleep faster.
  3. Dec 19, 2010
    The very worst movie I've seen this year, as well. The script sucks, they squandered a terrific cast. James L. Brooks?? you absolutely mailed this one in. Give it up. I was one of the few who loved Spanglish, but I'll never see one of your movies again. We walked out after about 80 mins, and on our way out, we saw two guys asleep with their ladies, and the ladies were pissed we were walking out - I suppose misery loves company. Tough. Collapse
  4. Dec 28, 2010
    Bad script, bad writing, bad acting. This movie fails on every level.
    Easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Not sure what else needs to be said
  5. Dec 25, 2010
    Surprisingly, this movie was quite bad. Ranging from flat acting to boring scripts, the only thing I ended up knowing from this bad film is that Nicholson looks like an oompa loompa. Oh, and to never spend $150 million making a romantic comedy with A-, and B+ stars.
  6. Dec 18, 2010
    The worst. The worst movie I saw this year. The script is inane, the actors look like they are wondering why they are in this movie, the direction is rudderless. Avoid this movie.
  7. Dec 22, 2010
    What a waste of talented, funny, charming actors. The story is ridiculous and the characters are painfully self-aware. None of them are likable, there's no chemistry, and the actors (especially Witherspoon) look embarrassed to be participating in the train-wreck. It's How Not To Write a Screenplay 101.
  8. Dec 28, 2010
    As I'm preparing my list of best movies of the year, one thing becomes clear. How Do You Know is the absolute worst movie I've seen this year. How the hell did such fine actors read this script and think it could work? Looking at the massive budget, I'm guessing they didn't care much.
  9. Feb 12, 2011
    Apparantly this garbage cost in the region of $120 million to make...WTF!!! This is case in point all that is wrong with the World at the moment...Big pocketed investors think: Big Actors + Big Dollars + Guzzling consumers = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!Well guess what u greedy blobs...This movie was rubbish...and tanked at the box office....'sarcastic applause...clap clap clap'!! While you slowly aim that big shot gun at your foot...maybe next time you'll think twice about putting out a movie as souless as yourselves and maybe show some respect for us your audience!!! I look forward to posting a similiar review for this years Transformers 3!!! Expand
  10. Dec 24, 2010
    This movie has some talented comic actors (Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson), but they've got nothing to work with. They're tossed in a potentially interesting situation, but writer/director James L. Brooks simply wrote a dud of a script. Although the actors manage to create characters that are worth watching, the obvious plot is frustrating and the complete void of laughs is downright disappointing. Expand
  11. Dec 21, 2010
    Timing is definitely not a strong suit in this one, comic relief carries at a slow and awkward pace, and I feel that was what Brooks was trying to get the audience to connect through; and with the connection problems between the characters this just turned into a slow and muddled mess.
  12. Jan 2, 2011
    Not sure how someone as brilliant and prolific as James L. Brooks could write a script that alternates between laughably bad and insufferable. Rudd and Wilson clearly try to add as much charm to their characters as possible, but nearly everything that comes out of their mouths is simply ridiculous. Witherspoon is horribly miscast and Nicholson does not even appear to be trying.
  13. Jan 4, 2011
    How Do You Know is a film that starts to take us on a journey, but never really lifts off. It merely walks in itsâ
  14. Dec 18, 2010
    This movie was unbelievably bad. The dialogue was terrible - unnatural, rambling, boring, and full of corny aphorisms and self-help-speak. much of it made no sense or flowed from one sentence to the next. The direction was also terrible, the rhythms off, the actors looked like they were sinking in quicksand.
  15. Jan 17, 2011
    This movie should not have been made. I can't even remember one part it was so forgettable. It was boring, unfunny, and very uncreative. The story was obvious: Is she going to choose the nice guy or the jack ass? All of the scenes with Paul Rudd and Reece Whitherspoon were just awkward and you could not feel any chemistry throughout the movie. I did not even understand what was happening with Jack Nicholson. Owen Wilson looked like he didn't even want to be there making the movie. Bottom line: It should not have been made. Expand
  16. Dec 20, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. About three-quarters of the way into "How Do You Know", an independent film breaks out. It's not a particularly distinguished indie, but when Kathryn Hahn and Lenny Vinito(playing a couple who just had a baby) hijack the movie for a few turbo-charged minutes, they put their bigger-named co-stars to shame. After ninety-minutes of watching glib people act like they're in love, it's almost uncomfortable the manner in which Al proposes to Annie, so earnest and self-deprecating-like, you'll want to yell, "Get a room!" or "Cut!" at the screen, because their honesty is downright jarring, just like real love. For posterity's sake, Al hands George Madison a digital video camera, then gets down to the business of convincing Annie that he's unworthy of her love, but nevertheless, is asking anyways, practically begging George's loyal assistant to pardon his unqualified heart. Metaphorically speaking, with Lisa(Reese Witherspoon) looking on from the sidelines), it's only fitting that George would fail to capture the momentous event, since Rudd and his leading lady must have been chagrined at being upstaged by these featured players, who take love past the conceptual stage, as they lay bare their souls without a trace of self-consciousness, unlike the pretty people who are guarded and stingy when it comes to sticky matters such as feelings and stuff. In other words, Hahn and Vinito(especially the latter performer) go for broke, putting the main attractions to shame. Rudd, the star of "The Hangover" and "I Love You, [Wo]man", as George, is supposed to be the antidote against narcissistic athletes such as Manny(Owen Wilson), an unabashed womanizer who expects a pat on the back from Lisa each time he treats her like a human being, as opposed to a piece of meat. But is he? Rudd's indicted man, similar in a crucial way to the recent performance given by Johnny Depp in Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Tourist", in that he's also saddled with baggage, a lot of baggage. Playing a corporate executive who's the target of a federal investigation for fraud, Rudd's innate ability to convincingly woo women becomes compromised by inner turmoil(like Anthony Pierce, as played by Depp, who was conflicted with the idea of Elise(Angelina Jolie) leaving him for "him"), so as a result, George Madison isn't a whole lot of fun to be around. Rudd doesn't do glum particularly well. That's a job for Tobey Maguire. After a disastrous first date highlighted by uncomfortable silence, a chance meeting in an elevator leads the ambivalent couple on a collision course to a second date of sorts back at George's pad. This time, Lisa breaks the moratorium on no talking, embarrassingly, to no great effect, since Geoge isn't up to the task of being lovable, admitting himself that he's "not great company", thus inspiring Lisa to comment, "This can't be moves," and yet, it's this awkward and laugh-free conversation that serves as the bedrock of their mutual love for each other. That's no small feat, turning Rudd into Freddie Prinze, considering how this modern-day everyman has worked his way up from being the funniest thing in other people's vehicles to a bonafide A-lister. People seem to love him, man. (Witherspoon, too; she's an angel in Richard Mulligan's "The Man in the Moon", and a devil in Alexander Payne's "Election") Unlike the producer that Holly Hunter plays in the much, much, much, much superior "Broadcast News", Lisa ends up with the nice guy, not the right guy, whereas Jane chooses Tom(William Hurt) over Aaron(Albert Brooks), because chicks dig the bad boys. Nice guys finish last. Lisa, an ex-softball player who only dates athletes, sounds just as shallow as Manny, a big league pitcher with a 94-mph fastball, who resembles Tom Grunnick in a brief scene where the MLB player tries to win Lisa back by texting her a picture of himself in repose, choosing the second photo after determining that he doesn't look properly sad in the first take. It echoes the key moment in "Broadcast News", a seminal film about the dumbing down of television journalism, when the ill-informed news anchor fakes compassion by squeezing out the proverbial crocodile ear after going through a piece on date rape dry-eyed during the first go-around. Tom is a fake. Manny is a fake, too. But so are George and Lisa, and, alas, Al and Annie, due to some injudicious editing. After Mr. Madison forgets to hit "record" on the camcorder, Al wants to film his proposal again, and the two hospital visitors are more than willing to oblige. The movie-within-the movie runs too long. Real love turns into tainted love. The filmmaker killed the one thing that was almost beautiful. Expand
  17. Dec 30, 2010
    I found this movie enjoyable. while it had it's quirks and awkwardness I think this relates to trying to be original as a rom-com. This is not a great movie, but it is good, a step away from cliche and will be enjoyed by fans of romantic comedies or Reese Witherspoon.
  18. Mar 3, 2012
    Enjoyable rom-com where Jack Nicholson is just outstanding once again. Comedy really is his forte due to his ability to introduce a tiny nuance into a scene, which just makes the scene so believable and alive, Great watch even if you only watched it for him ... but rest of it is good too. Wilson's character is annoying after a while 0 but that just could be the acting rather than character!
  19. Jan 7, 2011
    I gave this movie a three because it did have some moments. I thought Owen Wilson was pitch-perfect as the shallow but good-hearted pitcher, and Jack Nicholson was his usual charismatic self. But what really sunk this movie was the script. Brooks never seemed to care about the central plot, involving some kind of securities fraud that is never precisely spelled out, so the audience is completely lost as to what the central jeopardy is. Brooks makes the mistake of focusing entirely on the romantic subplots, so the film feels rudderless and empty. There were a few laughs...but all in all I thought this was an extremely lazy effort from writer/director Brooks. Expand
  20. Mar 11, 2011
    Although Jack Nicholson's character may be underwhelming, the rest of the movie is just endearing. James Broooks once again proves that he is king of thought-provoking dialogues. The scenes that the characters figure in are nothing new but are being presented under a fresh, realistic light that normally is rendered with unnecessary gloss by other romantic comedies. Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd give effective performances. Expand
  21. Jun 11, 2011
    Lots of bad reviews for a very good movie. It seems that most people today prefer their movies completely black and white (no grey areas or thought need be included). My family and I thought the movie was well written, acted and directed.
  22. Sep 1, 2014
    You can tell it means well, especially with Reese Witherspoon. Regardless, it was far from amusing and lacked any entertainment values whatsoever. Yikes!
  23. Mar 31, 2012
    Truly one of the worst movies i have seen in years. To say the movie was boring is an understatement. Movie went know nowhere. To tell you the truth i couldn't even follow it it was made so bad. Pure garbage.
  24. Apr 2, 2012
    The weirdest script with the most unreal characters. Acting was horrible all around. Jack Nicholson gave one of the worst performances ever. i actually feel asleep during this movie. Such a piece of trash. I never thought it could be this bad, but it really was.
  25. Jul 4, 2012
    Saw this on cable on a Sat was great for what it reading a couple of chapters and going to sleep feeling ok..............................................
  26. Nov 15, 2012
    It's slightly, only slightly, better than your average rom-com- and that's because its genuine, which is nice, despite the bore.
  27. Dec 8, 2012
    I honestly could not tell you what this film is about. The story is completely nonexistent and incoherent. I likable cast in a movie that's hard to like.
  28. Jun 28, 2013
    Avoid this movie at all cost. Just plain terrible. Everything was awful. Did anybody have any idea that this movie was awful. Simply the worst. NOthing positive to say.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 38
  2. Negative: 7 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Dec 28, 2010
    Bad movie!
  2. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 23, 2010
    It's the kind of movie that succeeds as a culmination of moments that ring true and sweet.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 20, 2010
    Yeah, well, I still like the film.