Review: Life As We Know It
PLOT: A neurotic caterer (Katherine Heigl) and a slacker bachelor (Josh Duhamel) find themselves the legal guardians of a baby when the childs parents- their best friends, are killed in a car accident.
REVIEW: LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is a film I dreaded seeing, mainly due to the fact that I absolutely loathe Katherine Heigl. Now, this isnt due to her image problem or the fact that she may or may not be a nice person (frankly, I dont care- I imagine Hollywood is full of all kinds). The reason I dislike Heigl is that she makes bad movies, and is not appealing on screen. She comes of as shrill, entitled, and a real stick in the mud. While she supposedly was quite good on GRAYS ANATOMY (I wouldnt know, having never watched a single episode), on the big screen shes been a disaster thus far. I liked her a lot in KNOCKED UP, but Ill attribute that one to a top-notch script, and good directing on the part of Judd Apatow. Since then, her work reads less like a filmography, and more like a rap sheet of cinematic atrocities. 27 DRESSES, THE UGLY TRUTH, KILLERS, and now LIFE AS WE KNOW IT? Yikes.
The thing is, bad as they are, Heigls movies make money. Chalk it up to bad taste of behalf of the movie going public, but for some reason, Heigl puts asses in seats. Or, at least she did, as the recent performance of KILLERS offers the hope that perhaps people are getting tired of her.
All this to say that I went into LIFE AS WE KNOW IT horribly biased, which I know is not something I should admit in a review. However, I like to think that should the rivers run red, dogs start meowing and cats start barking while Uwe Boll picks up a best director Oscar; if Heigl were to make a good film, Id give it a good review. Needless to say, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is not a good film by any stretch of the imagination.
Its just as cookie cutter and generic as the ads make it look. If by watching the trailers you havent guessed Heigl and partner in blandness Josh Duhamel will end up together by the time the end credits roll, you havent seen many movies. LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is about as unpredictable and dramatic as an episode of FULL HOUSE (well, thats not really fair, as that episode where Uncle Jesse thought he found DJ drinking hit me pretty hard as a kid).
Heigl and Duhamel are appalling in their two-dimensionality. Heigls a driven career woman with no time for romance, while Duhamels a stud with no time for commitment. Wow, talk about casting against type! Duhamels still new to the whole leading man thing, but judging from films like WHEN IN ROME, WIN A DATE WITH TAD HAMILTON, or even the upcoming indie, THE ROMANTICS (which I caught at Sundance), I cant say Im too impressed with him so far. He pretty much plays exactly the same role Gerard Butler played in Heigls THE UGLY TRUTH, although hes maybe slightly more appealing (Butlers great in action flicks and dramas, but murder in rom-coms). I found it sad to see the far more charismatic Josh Lucas essentially playing The Baxter to Duhamel. A few years ago, Lucas looked like the next big thing, but so far, he hasnt been able to bounce back from having appeared in two of the biggest flops of the decade (STEALTH, and POSEIDON). Thats too bad, as he always reminded me of a young Paul Newman- but so far his films have been pretty awful.
I truly loathed just about every second of LIFE AS WE KNOW IT. The only point in the film I chuckled was when Duhamel and Heigl get high and watch THE WIGGLES (been there, done that), and I gotta say- the kid was cute. However, a cute baby cannot save a film. As for my fellow MAD MEN fanatics who might be drawn to the multiplex by the promise of Christina Hendricks, Im sorry to say shes utterly wasted; with her character biting the dust ten minutes in (she plays the babys dead mother).
The only way anyone could possibly enjoy LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is if they have impossibly low-standards, or are addicted to rom-coms. If you thought THE UGLY TRUTH was a stitch, and GHOSTS OF GIRLFRIENDS PAST was robbed at the Oscars, than LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is for you. If you happen to be, ya know, sane- then you should avoid this like the plague. Even by the impossibly low chick flick standard (and I dont mean this to come off as sexist, as theres nothing wrong with a good chick flick like BRIDGET JONES DIARY, or LOVE, ACTUALLY), LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is pretty bad. Compared to this, EAT, PRAY, LOVE is like THE HURT LOCKER, and hopefully, John & Jane Q. Public will agree with me and not reward this with their hard-earned cash this weekend. Only then with this vicious cycle of crap come to an end.
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|Extra Tidbit:||Another surprising good chick flick: THE NOTEBOOK. Don't judge me.|