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Reese Witherspoon's life mixed up in "How Do You Know"

12-15-2010 14:26 BJT

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.

At the same time, she is drawn to another man, George, a sensitive businessman portrayed by Rudd. While Lisa likes George, her life experience and undeveloped emotional maturity put her more in sync with Matty.

But her affection for George is challenged by his being innocently targeted in a federal investigation, and she is torn between the two men.


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