How to Deal

Rated 2.0 A teenage girl (Mandy Moore), bitter over the divorce of her parents (Allison Janney and Peter Gallagher) and envious of her sister (Mary Catherine Garrison) because of her upcoming wedding, is determined never to fall in love—not even with the hunky young rebel (Trent Ford) at her school. Sincere performances from a good cast can’t overcome all the faults: Neena Beber’s script (perhaps because it’s based on two different novels by Sarah Dessen) is jerky and unfocused, relentlessly determined to cram in every single cliché of teen-alienation flicks. Clare Kilner’s direction is serviceably uninspired, but she can be forgiven for finding little in Beber’s script to inspire her. Moore grapples gamely with an unsympathetic character, and the whole film shamelessly panders to spoiled adolescents who think they know everything.