In the romantic comedy “How Do You Know,” the people in the story often struggle with questions over true love and loyalty. Lisa Jorgenson (played by Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon) is a Washington, D.C.-based professional softball player who, at age 31, finds herself out of a job when she is cut from her team. Lisa is dating a major-league baseball player named Matty (played by Owen Wilson) and they quickly move in together, but their relationship is often uneasy because of Matty’s self-absorbed ways and because Lisa starts to have doubts about settling down with him.
Before things got serious with Matty, Lisa went on a blind date with a nice-guy businessman named George Madison (played by Paul Rudd) on the same day she learns that she lost her job and the same day that George has been served with court papers for a federal case involving shady financial dealings by his father, Charles Madison (played by Oscar winner Jack Nicholson). After their disastrous first date, Lisa and George go their separate ways, but later they find out they have an attraction to each other. Complicating matters, Lisa has gone back to dating Matty, and George must decide whether to reveal his true feelings to Lisa so that he can possibly start a relationship with her. Meanwhile, George’s loyal assistant, Annie (played by Kathryn Hahn), struggles with being under orders from the authorities to keep confidential information from George as he is indicted on charges of stock fraud.
At a New York City press conference for “How Do You Know,” Witherspoon, Rudd, Wilson, Nicholson, Hahn and Oscar-winning writer/director/producer James L. Brooks sat down together to share their thoughts on the movie and how it related to their own real-life experiences. With so many funny people on the panel, they told plenty of jokes told during the press conference. Rudd had the whole room bursting with laughter when he told a hilarious story about one of the worst dates of his life — and he admitted that the bad date was his fault. Here is what this talented group of people said at the press conference.
The cast of ‘How Do You Know’ sure is packed with A-List stars; it features everyone Owen Wilson to Paul Rudd to Reese Witherspoon.
The movie, in theaters this Friday, is about Lisa, a young woman (Witherspoon) who must choose between two men — the charismatic but clueless Matty (Wilson) and the charming but flustered (George). The only catch: Lisa and George meet under the worst of circumstances, a premise that director James L. Brooks says was the inspiration for the film.
Moviefone talked to the three stars of the movie, along with actress Kathryn Hahn and director Brooks, last week about love, bad first impressions, dating faux and the ultimate question: How do you know?
Winning an Academy Award can make an actor’s career, open doors in Hollywood, or in some cases become a curse.
For Reese Witherspoon, who took home Hollywood’s Golden Boy portraying country singer June Carter Cash in 2005’s “Walk the Line,” it brought something no one — certainly not she — expected. A-list Hollywood writer/director James L. Brooks wrote a role especially for her.
Witherspoon portrays a top female softball player whose love life gets all mixed up in the romantic comedy “How Do You Know.” It hits theaters on Friday with co-stars Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.
“Director and script are the most important thing (and) this was a no-brainer,” Witherspoon told Reuters. “He writes some of the greatest female protagonists.”
Indeed, Brooks has had a strong track record writing and directing movies with strong women characters, starting with 1983’s “Terms of Endearment” up through 1997’s “As Good as It Gets,” which earned Helen Hunt an Oscar for lead actress.
“Terms of Endearment,” about the relationship between a mother and daughter, won Oscars for best writing, directing and motion picture for Brooks.
In “How Do You Know,” Witherspoon plays Lisa, whose loses her life’s focus when her softball playing days come to an abrupt end at age 31.
She embarks on an affair with fellow athlete Matty (Wilson), a clueless baseball player looking for good times who tries to reform his ways under the sway of Lisa’s allure.
Movie stars often talk about how they aren’t really like the characters they play on screen.
Reese Witherspoon proves the point with silence. Her character Lisa in How Do You Know, the new James L. Brooks comedy opening Friday, is as taciturn as Witherspoon is talkative.
“I’ve never really played a character that wasn’t very verbal,” she said in an interview. “I mean, all I do is talk in movies!
“So this is a nice departure for me, to learn to, as my mother always says, ‘Never miss an opportunity to shut up and listen!’”
Good thing Witherspoon didn’t heed that advice making Walk the Line, the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, where she played June Carter Cash and both talked and sang her way to an Oscar.
In How Do You Know, Witherspoon’s plays a baseball star who would rather get in touch with her ball and glove than her emotions. She amusingly finds herself romantically involved with two men: stereotypical jock Matty (Owen Wilson) and sensitive businessman George (Paul Rudd). (A fourth character, played by Jack Nicholson, is there to complicate their lives in other ways.)
If this were a real-life romantic triangle and not a movie, Witherspoon would be talking the ear off a sympathetic friend or family member.
“Oh, yes. I talk endlessly about my romantic conflicts, my loves lost and gained — my life is a non-stop dialogue with my friends. So this very interior character, who knows she’s feeling things but she’s not sure what they are, really doesn’t know how to talk about them.
“And when people want to talk about it, Lisa wants them to stop talking. It’s a really interesting woman to see on film. Conversely, Paul’s character just can’t stop talking!”
So what would Witherspoon tell her intimate associates, if she were to find herself in the unlikely position of having two suitors at once? Which of the two guys, cocky Matty or chatty George, would she choose?
Getting to ‘Know’ Reese Witherspoon Witherspoon plays struggling athlete caught in love triangle in new comedy
Reese Witherspoon steps out of her comfort zone for her newest comedy, “How Do You Know,” opening Friday.
In this film from James L. Brooks (“Terms of Endearment,” “As Good as It Gets”), Witherspoon, 34, plays Lisa, a fading softball champion who juggles two suitors (Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd). The role takes her leagues away from the lovably perky Elle Woods of her “Legally Blonde” hits.
“The biggest challenge for me was that she’s not verbal, and I’m used to playing really talkative characters, women that speak about their relationships and talk about love and dynamics and boys with their girlfriends,” the Oscar-winning actress (“Walk the Line”) told reporters recently in New York.
“She’s like, ‘Shut up. I don’t want to talk to you right now. I have to go.’ That was a new character for me.”
But true, she discovered, for the female athletes she met.
When Reese Witherspoon feels her love life is veering off track, rather than call a girlfriend, she turns to 70-year-old director James L. Brooks for guidance.
“He’s been a really great confidante and is really caring and interested in people’s lives,’’ the actress says during an interview at a hotel. “I tell him a lot and he gives me romantic advice, especially when I’m dating. He has a wealth of knowledge about romantic dynamics and I don’t know where it comes from.’’
It could stem from more than four decades of guiding fictional women through rocky personal and professional terrain. Brooks created “The Mary Tyler Moore Show’’ and “Rhoda’’ in the ’70s and went on to write and direct several films, including “Broadcast News,’’ “Terms of Endearment,’’ and “As Good as It Gets.’’ So who better to dish with than the man who walked Mary through countless dates, finally found Rhoda a husband, and, in “Broadcast News,’’ helped Holly Hunter’s character understand that her career would always be her first love? Brooks, who wrote and directed “How Do You Know,’’ which opens Friday, says he spends a lot of time thinking about romance, so he’s happy to share his perspective. In fact, in his latest film, he makes the case that in the face of life’s uncertainties and pitfalls, love has become an increasingly important commodity.
“Everybody went to war on our ability to trust, so I think the last stand is, ‘honey, give me your hand,’ ’’ he says in his hotel suite last week. “The truth is people are so afraid to make sentimental films, but the point of this film is true. It’s the fact that really bad things can happen to you and the right person can walk through the door and make things better. The problem remains large, but your spirit rises and the problem shifts in position a little. It doesn’t quite occupy center stage and I think that’s true and romantic.’’
Reese Witherspoon is always in the ‘Know’ about her life
You don’t become the queen of romantic comedies without learning a few things about matters of the heart.
Reese Witherspoon, actress and mother of two, is well-versed in the mysteries and mores of love, and she spends hours discussing and debating them with her girlfriends.
“I’m literally the girl who talks constantly about relationships. I hang up with one (friend), and I pick up the phone and call another one. It’s an ongoing dialogue all day long,” she says. “I don’t understand a woman who doesn’t talk about love and relationships.”
She has been through a divorce (from actor Ryan Phillippe) and breakups (most notably with actor Jake Gyllenhaal), but Witherspoon isn’t one to get hung up on past amorous calamities. She views them as life lessons.
“You gotta be glad that you went through them, and you gotta be glad that you learned from them,” says Witherspoon, 34. “You gotta learn what you want.”
And like so many of the romantically challenged, you have to figure out if he’s the one for you. That’s the perplexing question Witherspoon toys with Friday in How Do You Know, a rom-com with the actress playing a past-her-prime softball pro who gets cut from Team USA and finds herself torn between two guys: a self-absorbed jock (Owen Wilson) and a somewhat neurotic businessman (Paul Rudd). But unlike Witherspoon, who exudes certainty and self-assurance, the character of Lisa is a romantic naïf.
“She’s not very good at articulating her feelings. She’s never been in a serious relationship. She’s almost an innocent,” says Witherspoon. “She doesn’t care if (men) call her back if she slept with them. She’s having sex for fun and sex for sport.”
PopSugar.com were in attendance at a recent press junket/conference for How Do You Know, and have posted a handful of quotes from it! Have a read …
• Reese on bad blind dates: “I had someone correct my grammar on a blind date once, and I knew in the first ten minutes that the date was over. You just don’t correct someone’s grammar! I’m from Tennessee I probably said everything wrong. I probably said ain’t or something.”
• Reese on her motivations: “I’m definitely one of those people who has post-its everywhere. The six evils of the world. I really do! Desire, greed, envy. . . Try to tell myself all those things to avoid! Positive affirmations, I have to say “Judge not lest ye be judged” has guided me through life.”
• Reese on being unsettled like her character: “I think it’s really interesting to play a woman who can articulate that she isn’t ready to have a family — isn’t even sure she wants to have a family! I have a lot of friends like that. I think it’s a really interesting character than can say it. And I think Jim really wrote it so beautifully, that emotional honesty of someone who is not afraid to be honest about maybe not wanting what other women want. And I think there’s a lot of women out there like that. I think it’s really interesting to play a character like that. Obviously it’s not like myself, I have two kids, a very sort of settled-down life. But it was cool to play that girl.”
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