Life as We Know It Reviews
Now we can properly rate Life as We Know It.
Using our new scale, this movie rates 3 out of 5 stars.
It has heart...ish. It has comedy...ish. The characters grow and change...ish. It's predictable...very predictable.
Honestly this movie is forgettable. Whenever I see the title, I won't feel any emotion, positive or negative. I'll just think "Oh yeah...that is a movie I watched once."
Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), a live-broadcast sports TV technician, is a cocky, rougish, womanising jock who juggles a myriad of nameless girls while waiting for his big break to become a fully-fledged director.
In a stroke of genius by their mutual best friends, Peter (Hayes MacArthur) and Alison (Christina Hendricks), control freak Holly and toxic bachelor Eric are set up on the blind date from hell.
Arriving an hour late, on a motorcycle, without dinner reservations and with a post-date tryst already lined up, the tension and loathing between these polar opposites is self-evident.
Suffering in silence, the two ignore each other at social events, smiling politely through the generation of Peter and Alison's life; their wedding, the birth of their child Sophie (played by cute triplets Alexis, Brynn, Brooke Clagett) and her first birthday.
Tragedy strikes when Peter and Alison are killed in a car accident; leaving baby Sophie in the joint custody of her unprepared, unwilling and incapable godparents, Holly and Eric.
Horrified, the novice parents try to keep their mutual loathing to a minimum for Sophie's sake, moving into the family's home, they struggle to coexist under the same roof. While comically botching the rearing of the infant, they attempt to lead their own lives; going on dates, working as usual and as time wears on, the awkwardness and apprehension ebbs.
New problems arise however as balancing an unearned family, holding onto old plans of upward career trajectories and an amorous encounter sees the odd couple at locker heads again.
Can Eric and Holly embrace happiness and each other?
Slapstick, predictable scenarios and rom-com plot devices abound, this film does not deviate an inch from the formula, delivering on all sides but only to the required level.
Awkwardly fusing familiar sitcom with a jarring tragic premise, the look who's talking-type humorous package of laughter, tears, romance and icky baby incidents seems a little out of kilt with the amount of time spent mourning the death of their friends.
Content to sit in her well developed, prissy, control freak box, Katherine Heigl's character has identical motives to her last four roles (27 dresses, Killers, The Ugly Truth and Knocked Up); leaving the actress stale and her character cold.
Luckily, her charming and much better faring co-star Josh Duhamel makes a lasting impression.
His genuinely relaxed and easy (without being too smug) charm has a winning sort of subtle self-mocking, best exposed in his blase“ dealings with the drooling neighbours. Duhamel's also has a wonderful natural air with his child co-stars, obvious as an authentic relationship the child is comfortable with the actor in every situation. His chemistry with Heigl is also good; repelling each other on every level at the beginning, then when the onus shifts, it is subtle and quite believable; even if the situation isn't.
The Verdict: Crowd pleasing and passable as the superficial modern odd couple, the acting is decent but with a free-range turkey sandwich loving Dr. McDreamy paediatrician, a minor cab driver turned reluctant babysitter, and a nosy emotional-wreck social worker; the plot is in desperate need of some restraint.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 29/10/2010