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  • How To Deal

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 28th, 2003

    (out of 5)



    Mandy Moore plays Halley, a teen having a rough year. Her parents have just gottendivorced, and her DJ father (Peter Gallagher) is about to marry a weather bimbo. Her best friendhas suddenly fallen in love, her sister is getting married, and she feels very alone. Enter theexaggeratedly cute Trent Ford, who slowly will turn Halley’s cynical heart around. Though everyconceivable teen trauma is bundled into the plot, solid performances, a more mature look at teensexuali…y than usual, and a more complex movie mother than is typical are all points in the film’sfavour.


    The sound (in both 5.1 and 2.0) is very good. The dialogue is clear, undistorted, and is notdrowned out by the music. The score is itself showcased rather nicely. the sound effects aredecent, but not stellar. There does seem to have been some effort spent towards creating anenvironment, but the results are very low key.


    The picture comes in both fullscreen and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen ratios. The coloursare warm and bright, with excellent flesh tones. The contrasts strong, and the blacks very goodindeed. The image is very sharp, and untouched by edge enhancement problems. There is nograin either. All in all a very solid transfer.

    Special Features

    Moore, co-star Alexandra Holden and director Clare Kilner get together for the commentary,and the result is, frankly, a little too giggly for my tastes. The featurette actor profiles are theusual promotional fluff, and are, like the commentary, very much from the school of Hooray ForEverything. Somewhat more interesting is “How to Deal with Young Adult Literature,” a half-hour piece that examines the books as well as the film. There are four deleted/alternate sceneswith optional commentary, two music videos (“Billy S.” by Skye Sweetnam and “Why Can’t I”by Liz Phair), the theatrical trailer (plus bonus trailers for Elf, Love andBasketball, Sugar & Spice and Dumb and Dumberer), and raft of DVD-ROMfeatures. The menu is fully animated and scored.

    Closing Thoughts

    There are better coming-of-age tales of teenage girls out there, but there are certainly worseones too.

    Special Features List

    • Audio Commentary
    • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
    • 3 Profile Featurettes
    • Young Adult Literature Featurette
    • 2 Music Videos
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Bonus Trailers
    • DVD-ROM Features
    Posted In: 1.33:1 Fullscreen, 1.85:1 Widescreen, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital 2.0 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Drama, DVD, New Line, New Line Platinum Series

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