How to Deal is not a good movie. It's a stab at a more adult and grown up teenage film and while it doesn't suffer from bad acting, it does suffer from a horribly written script and what is most likely apathetic directing.
Mandy Moore is a decent actress, not great, but decent, and aside from Peter Gallagher, she isn't put up against too many big names, so she holds her own. The problem is that all of these actors are trapped inside a poorly written movie. There are too many specific instances where this film just doesn't cut it. It boils down to this, Mandy's character has to deal with her parents divorce, her sister's wedding, her father's remarrying, her best friend getting pregnant with her deceased boyfriend's baby (it's not what it sounds like), and the fact that despite her misgivings about love, falling in love with the high school clown named Macon. Yes, his name is Macon. The point is there is way too much going on and the movie does not adequately set up any of these events. At one point Haley (Mandy Moore's character) blows up over her Mom not believing that she could remember the last time Haley's comet passed by. She claims no one believes her when she tells people how she feels. Unfortunately, we never see anyone not believing her in the film and it seems more like the director told Mandy to blow up and get angry in this scene without telling her why. Other problems include a random car crash into a tree head on that leaves a Honda Civic hatchback with nothing but a cracked windshield. It leads to laughter it what is supposed to become an emotional scene. There are a few funny moments, but not many. Allison Janney as Mandy Moore's mother is quirky but not funny although she has the only laughs in the movie.
There is just too much wrong with this movie for anything to be right. It has no real point or plot, the acting is mediocre, and you will laugh at parts that are supposed to be dramatic. I can't think of anything good to say at this point, so I probably should say nothing at all.
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