Sometimes life gets turned upside down. And maybe that's why it's so hard to believe that anyone, especially 17 year-old Halley Martin (Mandy Moore), could actually experience that thing called love.
The people closest to Halley are in the midst of major upheavals in their love lives. Her mother, Lydia (Allison Janney), is embittered by her recently finalised divorce. Her sister, Ashley (Mary Catherine Garrison), is marrying a guy with whom she is constantly fighting. Her best friend, Scarlett (Alexandra Holden), can't keep her hands off of her first serious boyfriend. Most distressingly for Halley, her father, Len (Peter Gallagher), who is a DJ at a local radio station, combats his midlife crisis with a stereotypically boyish elopement to the station's much-younger traffic reporter.
So how's Halley supposed to deal? She isn't about to let herself succumb to the pipe dream of storybook romance, and Macon Forrester (Trent Ford) is the one guy who challenges her idea that love just complicates a perfectly good friendship. As Halley's life grows more and more complicated, she finds a friend in Macon, but when she feels herself falling for him, will Halley move beyond her fears and disappointments to experience real love?
What the critics are saying:
"Painless to watch, but it's marred by some significant flaws."- Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com"It's too heavy on issues and too light on just observing the characters and enjoying their freshness."- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times"Moore's appealing, unaffected authenticity buttresses weaker passages...but How to Deal can't seem to stay faithful to its aspirations of coloring outside the lines of cliche."- Rob Blackwelder, SplicedWire
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