Movie Review: Life as We Know It (2010)
I get the fact a will can specify the legal guardians of a child in the event of a catastrophic occurrence — after all that’s one of the main purposes of the legal document. Can it, however, specifically spell out that when the catastrophic event takes place, said guardian (or guardians) must move into the willer’s home to take care of said child? That seems a long shot (although I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m wrong) but without that little caveat, Life as We Know It would cease to be.
Said child is Sophie and the willer’s are Peter and Alison Novack (Hayes MacArthur and Christina Hendricks). They die in a car wreck. The guardians to be are Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) and Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl). They hate each other. Eric is a suave, womanizer; Holly is a prim and proper stick in the mud. Pete and Alison think (or thought) Eric and Holly are a perfect match — a blind date they set them up on together failed miserably, so forcing them to raise a child together has to work, right?
Of course it does. And that is just one of several really sad and predictable paths of Life as We Know It.
So what to expect? The baby threw up. Now watch a dysfunctional couple cope with such a horrid and difficult situation. Can life throw them any other screwballs? The baby shit her pants. Oh my God! It’s really stinky and messy — call the National Guard for help! And every chance there is, Greg Berlanti directs a mini argument between Holly and Eric, making sure we see their incompatibilities, to, I suspect, sweeten the moment when both have that God awful “I love you even though we have absolutely no chemistry together” scene.
And when I say there is no chemistry between these two, I mean it. You can’t help but root for Sam (Josh Lucas), the poor sap who actually has some spark with Holly. She would be so much better off with him and Life as We Know It would have been so much less painful to watch had they ended up with each other. Katherine Heigl is pretty much the only palatable ingredient to this mix — aside from being very easy on the eyes, she has a good screen presence. A good career choice for her would be to break away from these weak romantic comedies in which she is typecast as the cute but prissy chick. Honorable mention goes to Sarah Burns as Janine, the lady from child services; she gets in a few shots that elicit a smile or two.
My life, as I know it, could have been infinitely better had I not spent 112 precious minutes watching the formulaic Life as We Know It (okay, maybe not infinitely better, but you get the idea). There are, however, an infinite number of other things you could do in that time period. Do them instead.