With the release of How Do You Know only a day away, movie critics other than David Edelstein have begun to weigh in. And by "weigh in" I mean "tear the film to pieces like starved lions stumbling upon a pair of fresh-faced Peace Corps volunteers." I expected such a response, having seen this D.C.-based film, but that hasn't lessened my enjoyment in reading these merciless reviews. Here are the ten harshest ones I could find, though more are sure to come in the next 24 hours.
10. "Too cute, too star-studded and entirely too long, How Do You Know is a jocks’ romance that offers more proof that James L. Brooks has lost his fastball." — Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
9. "Six years in the making and this is As Good As It Gets?" — Brett Michel, Boston Phoenix
8. "The film gets too close in quality to the Katherine Heigl and Jennifer Aniston junk that Brooks is supposed to save us from." — Mark Keizer, Box Office Magazine
7. "By the time all the one-liners have run dry and Witherspoon makes her big (and inevitable) choice, the audience no longer cares. The question isn’t how do you know, but how did writer-director James L. Brooks manage to waste this array of talent." — Thelma Adams, US Magazine
6. "There's even a 'stop-the-bus!' moment, in case you weren’t bludgeoned enough by clichés." — Alexis Loinaz, Metromix D.C.
5. "I never dreamed that seeing Jack Nicholson in a movie would make me wish he wasn't there." — Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times
4. "How do you know when the spark is gone? When your latest romantic comedy looks like TV, feels like greeting-card poetry and sounds like a self-help manual." — Peter Debruge, Variety
3. "Very attractive sorts who occupy the posher circles of Arlington, Va., just across the river from D.C., the main figures here babble on so incessantly about themselves — often in psychiatric jargon that suggests either they or their creator have been spending far too much time in the company of shrinks — that their chatter soon becomes a blur of noise only sporadically worth listening to." — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
2. "How do you know when a film is horrible? When it's How Do You Know, it's pretty obvious." — Christy Lemire, AP
1. "I spent much of the moviegoing experience wanting to chase after these characters with a shovel." — Brian Orndorf