The worst thing that can happen to teens in seeing a movie is that they are subjected to the wrong morals. Often times, this is exactly the case as teens are confused by the conflicting messages given by a particular film and their faith.
In the teen movie How to Deal, Halley Martin is a confused teen who has decided to give up on love because she is disgusted by how it is affecting her friends and family. Instead of discovering what love truly is, she accepts the wrong message about love – it isn’t something spiritual or intellectual, but physical. Halley’s best friend Scarlett claims she is in love, but it seems as if she is just physically attracted to someone, and assumes that that is enough to call it love. When she starts to spend more time with Macon, a boy who goes to her school, she doesn’t want to make it official, but just wants to have fun. No real commitments are shown and it seems that having sex is the definition of commitment for the teens in this movie. Even the older characters lack commitment in their relationships – a mother is divorced and it is clear that she has a boyfriend and stays at his place from time to time. Meanwhile, another girl and her fiance are constantly threatening to cancel their wedding.
After her mother catches Halley on the couch with Macon, her mom says, “I thought you weren’t serious about this boy.” Halley replies, “I’m not.” Her mother then rightfully asks the question on everyone’s minds: why are you getting so intimate with him?
Later, at a party, Halley panics and runs out of a bedroom before anything serious occurs. On the ride home, Macon is mad and sulky, which leads her to apologize to him. He pouts, “I thought you wanted us to be together.” This line makes the audience wonder whether “being together” means an obligation to have sex.
One positive point in the movie is that Scarlett does not go through with an abortion even though her mother is willing to take her to an abortuary. Before her mother had knowledge of the fact that Scarlett was pregnant, she and Halley were on their way to an abortuary and only stopped because of Scarlett’s suspicious mother. Although she did not go through with the abortion, the reason for the child’s continued existence is not the baby’s right to live, but so that the life of Scarlett’s boyfriend is remembered, as well as the time they spent together and their “love” for each other. (Scarlett’s boyfriend dies before she knows of her pregnancy).