How to Be is a 2008 comedy-drama film starring Robert Pattinson and cameoing Jeremy Hardy. Pattinson is Art, a twenty-something man struggling to find meaning in his life. He's not successful at his desired career of music. He works at a grocery store despite having a degree. After his girlfriend breaks things off with him and throws him out, he goes home to live with his parents, who are emotionally cold to him. Inspired by a self-help book, It's Not Your Fault, Art decides to use his inheritance to hire the author, Dr. Levi Ellington, to be his life coach.
This film exhibits the following tropes:
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Dr. Ellington is decidedly odd, but incisive in his observations.
- Cool Car: In his effort to find meaning, Art buys a very nice-looking car that seems to perform well... and then refuses to start for most of the rest of the film.
- It's All Junk: Near the end of the film, Art starts giving away everything he owns, including his beloved guitar, to homeless people.
- Parental Neglect: Art's parents are decidedly reserved and, at best, offer him backhanded compliments. Later in the film, we learn that it's due to their own psychological hangups.
- Hollywood Mid-Life Crisis: More of a Quarter-life Crisis. Art doesn't know who he's going to be, but knows he can't stay who he is now. Among other things, he buys a fast car.