How to Deal [DVD] [2003]

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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Overview

Special Features

  • 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
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

How to Deal
Teen pop star Mandy Moore stars in the romantic comedy How to Deal. Directed by British filmmaker Clare Kilner, the script is based on two of author Sarah Dessen's popular teen novels: Someone Like You and That Summer. Halley (Moore) is a teenager trying to make sense of the faltering romantic relationships within her immediate social sphere. Her mother, Lydia (Allison Janney), can't seem get a date, while her father (Peter Gallagher) is getting remarried to a woman that nobody seems to like. Halley's wedding-obsessed sister, Ashley (Mary Catherine Garrison), is engaged to Lewis (Mackenzie Astin), a guy that is completely wrong for her. Meanwhile, bad boy Macon Forrester (Trent Ford) won't leave Halley alone. Just when she decides to become cynical about love because of all the romantic disappointments around her, a troubled situation involving her best friend Scarlett (Alexandra Holden) changes her outlook. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Mandy Moore
    Mandy Moore - Halley
  • Allison Janney
    Allison Janney - Lydia, Halley's Mom
  • Trent Ford
    Trent Ford - Macon
  • Alexandra Holden
    Alexandra Holden - Scarlett
  • Dylan Baker
    Dylan Baker - Steve Beckwith
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