Life or Something Like It
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Spoiled bleach-blonde learns of her impending death and begins to live her life in a less obnoxious fashion. Big woop, eh?
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you derive hours of enjoyment from bloated and lazy ego projects, then yeah: LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT is a damn good movie. As for me, aside from the curvy little body of Jolie, I found very little to enjoy in this egocentric and vapid little turkey. See, there’s this thing that’s often used in good screenplays. It’s called ‘sympathetic characterization’. In other words, populating a movie with characters one actually CARES about. OK, that’s not always the case, but when your movie centers around a woman who’s forced to re-prioritize her life, my guess is that you should take care that people give an actual shit about her. As portrayed by synthetic actress extraordinaire Angelina Jolie, Lanie simply isn’t someone you’ll care about.
Ed Burns fares slightly better, mainly because he’s not a primping and preening Barbie doll, although he does come dangerously close. Aside from the limp and requisite ‘girl has sex with boy’ scenario, the ‘other’ plot deals with an omen that Lanie will die in a week’s time. Who we kiddin’? This is a tailor-made Jolie-driven ego vehicle, so any drama that may have been gleaned from the ‘harbinger’ subplot is promptly washed down the tubes. This flick is force-fed emotion all the way, folks, and those who’ve lived through stuff like PATCH ADAMS know full well how painful that can be. Tell you what: rent this one for your Mom. It’s clearly geared for her. You can pop in to the room from time to time to see what Jolie and her hooters are up to, and jog out of the room whenever the banal and painfully predictable dialogue starts spouting all over the screen. Whoever said ‘blondes have more fun’ may have been right, but that doesn’t mean we have to PAY to watch it happen in such trivial fashion.
Director Stephen Herek (who used to make awesome movies like CRITTERS and BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE) delivers a full-length audio commentary that’s quite dry and obvious. The director sticks mainly to stuff like “Oh, this is in Vancouver…” and “this was filmed in a bar…”, but those who dig the movie may find this a more entertaining listen. Oddly enough, that’s it for extras. Not even the theatrical trailer!
Don’t even think of calling me a basher of Chick Flicks. This one’s a rote and predictable waste of time no matter how ladylike your movie tastes may be. If you don’t believe me, give it a rental before you even dream of purchasing a copy.