Life Or Something Like It (2002)
Review Date: April 22, 2002
Director: Stephen Herek
Writer: John Scott Shepherd and Dana Stevens
Producers: Kenneth Atchity, John Davis
Angelina Jolie as Lanie Kerrigan
Edward Burns as Pete
Tony Shalhoub as Prophet Jack
A local news reporter with big, blonde hair is a finalist for a posh job at a TV network, but first, she must prove herself in the field alongside a cameraman whom she hates. During one of their reports together, a homeless prophet announces that the blonde reporter will die within a week. When all of his other predictions come true, the woman begins to re-evaluate her own life as the days tick down to her impending doom.
Without Angelina Jolie, this movie wouldn't even be worth renting as a dog-day Tuesday evening video flick, but as it stands now, Jolie brightens up the screen every time that she beams upon it, and the semi-original premise of the film makes it somewhat bearable. Unfortunately for us, the movie does tend to move a little slowly and is unsuccessful in its attempt to blend comedy and drama properly. The comedic jabs between Jolie and Burns' characters are also pretty good, but as the film moves along, the pokes disappear and we're shown that their chemistry together might've worked best when they weren't so fond of one another. The film also features quite the melancholic score, which would bring me down every now and then. It didn't seem to fit the movie so well, as Jolie would light up the screen with her beautiful smile, gorgeous hair and big-ass lips, only to be lessened in impact by this background groove of "impending doom", which didn't work for me. And yes, the premise of the film is a little interesting at first, as it concerns one person's reaction to knowing that they might only have one week left to live, but the development of the plot is just too obvious with every "closure" in her life ultimately being telegraphed from the very start (she has problems in her relationship, she has family issues and she is very antagonistic towards a male co-worker--- can you guess how each one will be resolved?). It also doesn't help that we're given a number of montage sequences nearing the end of the film to condense matters even further, and probably one of the least believable job promotions that I've seen in any movie (Jolie's character shows up drunk and makes a massive fool of herself on TV and the next thing you know she gets promoted to a network job because of it??).
What's even less believable than her quickie promotion is the fact that she literally flies to NY the next day and is put into an interview situation as soon as she lands (with a very popular celebrity to boot!) So she asks this person one, maybe two questions, and the next thing you know, her "interview" (how anyone could qualify two questions as an "interview" is beyond me) lands her yet another promotion!! Does that strike anyone else as completely unrealistic and convenient for the sake of plot's purposes? Anyway, other than those goofy moves, the film was somewhat interesting to watch because of Jolie's magnificent look and performance. I really gotta hand it to the girl, she takes this role and runs with it and I double-dare anyone not to "gulp" up when tears begin running down her adorable face. Having said that, I think the director knew that she was the best thing about this gunk and over-emphasized her in most scenes, as pretty much everyone else was basically ignored. But if you're interested in seeing Angelina Jolie looking like a hot tamale for an entire hour and a half movie (although she becomes more of a sexy "cutie-pie" in the film's second half), check this movie out and ignore its very basic 1-2-3 plot mechanics. Sure, it's got a horrible title and Edward Burns will likely never attain the level of a bankable "lead" despite his very cool raspy voice, but if you're crossing over an existential period in your own life, and interested in seeing how others "live each day to its fullest", you may want to rent this sad pup and go in with very minor expectations.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian