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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life As We Know It Is, Apparently, Very Predictable

Life as We Know It = 2 out of 5 Stars
[Eric is singing "Creep" to Sophie as a lullaby]
Holly: What are you singing to her?
Eric: Everybody loves Radiohead.
I told my friend Allison that I would be attending a screening of Katherine Heigl's latest rom-com disaster. Her response to me was as follows: "The JD [Josh Duhamel] one? The cliché about the couple who get the baby, fall in love, and have a bunch of funny mishaps along the way?" Allison gets props for this, because it is a very accurate summation of the flick, with the mishap of course being that this film was made. That may be a bit harsh, but suffice it to say, there is nothing very special about this very predictable story. 




This part is easy: Two people (Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel) are set up on a blind date and end up hating each other. They are both named the godparents of the newborn daughter of the friends who set them up to begin with. Tragedy strikes, the friends are killed, but the will states that Heigl and Duhamel should be the ones to serve as the parents together to the now orphaned Sophie. This is where those funny mishaps are supposed to occur. Following those mishaps:  some drama, new understandings on life, and happy end credits.

This film follows a formula all the way through. It even manages to have a scene where one character chases after another in an airport terminal. Throw in some wacky neighbors and plenty of cute baby shots, and you have yourself a "winner."

I do not want to turn this into a thing about why I dislike Katherine Heigl, but she keeps doing this to herself. And I mean literally, as she is a producer on this film. After making remarks against her one movie that was met with critical praise (Knocked Up), saying that the women were portrayed as shrewish and no fun, she continues to choose romantic comedies where she stars as a character who is up tight and no fun, except these movies are met with terrible reviews and regarded as some of the worst of the year (see The Ugly Truth and most likely this year's Killers). And yes, she is that character here once again.

Duhamel doesn't fair much better here. He gets to play the inconsistent male character that flip flops between his attitude regarding the situation. He hates Holly; they get along; they argue; he gets jealous. He hates this new life involving a child; he loves the child; he's tempted by a new job. It's more exhausting trying to gauge this character than it is to think of how tough he has it raising a child.

There are plenty of other things I can point out as well, such as the convenient mansion that is paid for, so these characters can live in, the very nature of the "drama" involved to keep these two apart, and just how non-difficult it seems for these two to raise the child, despite the problems they claim to have. This would be a complete disaster if it wasn't for the chemistry between Duhamel and Heigl and the few but far between chuckles this film has (which don't involve poop).

As my friend, Allison, stated, the film is very cliché. It goes exactly how you think it will and doesn't try to trick you in thinking otherwise. I'm aware of what audience this film is for, but surely there are other options to turn towards.
Eric: Holly, she's about to walk!
Holly: What! Stall her!
Eric: Stall her? Stall her how?
[Eric pushes Sophie down]

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