Life As We Know It
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
LIFE AS WE KNOW IT tells the tale of two attractive single people forced to work as a family when their close friends are killed and leave behind an infant without a family. Katherine Heigl takes on the the role of Holly, the owner of a small bakery, who has high standards in her men and likely a stick up her ass. Josh Duhamel plays the bad ass motorcycle stud that loves sports, bedding women, wearing a hat, and drinking beers. In their midst is placed an adorable baby who is relegated to performing poop jokes, spit-up jokes, deathly illnesses, and a multitude of secret eye rolls as she’s stuck performing with the likes of Duhamel and Heigl.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I would love to be able to tell you that Katherine Heigl’s follow-up to THE UGLY TRUTH was a welcome return to form. It would be my pleasure to tell you that this film has the same sense of humor and purpose as 27 DRESSES and KNOCKED UP. Unfortunately, that is not something that I can report. Instead, I’m stuck chronicling a movie plotted around an unlikely premise that had a glimmer of hope, but ultimately fails and might just insult in the process.
This movie starts out well enough with some goofy relationship humor between the two leads as they attempt to go on a blind date many months before they wind up stuck with a kid together. The date has it’s charm but the writing is on the wall pretty early on, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT has two trajectories in front of it: the first is to go down the same shitty path that most modern romantic comedies take or to take the path less traveled; you know the leery path that looks challenging at first but winds up creating something entirely new.
Surprisingly, the real drop off point of this movie was not the death of Holly and Messer’s (Duhamel) friends. Those scenes, which feature a foreboding hospital hallway and glistening tears down Duhamel’s cheek, are well crafted and incredibly respectful of what occurred. Instead, it’s the moment that the deceased’s lawyer tells the pair of hot single people that they’ve been left with guardianship of helpless (and adorable) baby. Instead of handling the news like responsible adults that don’t function on a teenage level, these two dolts practically have cartoon eye shooting out of their eye sockets. Then, from here on in LIFE AS WE KNOW IT delivers an endless barrage of easy shit and piss jokes that would make Danny Tanner chuckle. Sure, this movie adds some “fucks” and “shits” that would never be heard in FULL HOUSE, that doesn’t excuse the remainder of LIFE AS WE KNOW IT as it drives off a cliff.
This disc included some mindless featurettes that aren't really worth your time. The first featurette is basically a clip compilation from the movie meant to share sage parenting advice from the characters. The other two featurettes are fluff features designed to make the two stars looks awesome, adorable, and great with kids. Blech. There are some interesting deleted scenes that add some context but don’t show anything that would have saved the movie.
Leaving the story and shitty jokes behind, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT at its core has an interesting concept. It just wasn’t handled in a realistic or believable way. This burden shouldn’t fall completely on Heigl or Duhamel’s shoulders because they have plenty of chemistry on display. In fact, I wouldn’t dismiss if these two actors made another movie together. For Heigl, this relationship is quite an upgrade from working with Gerard Butler in THE UGLY TRUTH. For Duhamel, this should help him break from being typecast as the studly action star in the TRANSFORMERS series. Unfortunately, while their chemistry is good, the silly antics and failed tangents kill what they have in the long run. Duhamel is fortunate enough to dodge some of the blame because he’s just acting in this movie; however, Heigl’s role as a producer gave her some clout in the shaping of this story. Too bad she either didn’t use that clout or did so in a way that damaged the story.