Life or Something Like It

2002

Life or Something Like It

Critics Consensus

Though Jolie is appealing, Life or Something Like It is too contrived and predictable to convincingly convey its message of stopping to smell the roses.

28%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 122

44%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 44,490
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Life or Something Like It Photos

Movie Info

An egotistical TV reporter learns to appreciate the good things in life thanks to an eccentric, homeless clairvoyant in this old-fashioned romantic comedy from director Stephen Herek (Mr. Holland's Opus). Seattle native Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie) has spent most of her adult existence trying to live down her gawky, geeky adolescence: She toils for hours at the gym to keep cellulite at bay; she's managed to snag an engagement to a star baseball player (Christian Kane); and through her chipper puff pieces on the nightly news, she's cultivated a loyal following of couch potatoes who pester her for autographs. She's ready to take the next step to national news when her boss suggests she further hone her skills with ace cameraman Pete Scanlon (Edward Burns), who also happens to be an old flame of Lanie's. Her comfortable but shallow existence begins to change the moment she and Pete do a story on Prophet Jack (Tony Shaloub), a sage soothsayer who spouts unusually accurate predictions to passers-by in exchange for spare change. Jack offers up the theory that Lanie will not get her cushy promotion; in fact, he says she'll die within a week. When Jack's other prophecies start coming true, Lanie starts living each day as if it were her last -- much to the dismay of her co-workers and her fiancé. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

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Cast

Angelina Jolie
as Lanie Kerrigan
Tony Shalhoub
as Prophet Jack
Christian Kane
as Cal Cooper
James Gammon
as Lanie's Father
Stockard Channing
as Deborah Connors
Veena Sood
as Doctor
David Dunard
as Striker Bob
Vincent Fluck
as Club Kid
P.J. Prinsloo
as Another Club Kid
Tony Doupe
as Man No. 1 in Sports Bar
Jamie Moss
as Man No. 2 in Sports Bar
Pamela Sue Martin
as KQMO Anchorwoman
Jill Krop
as Strike News Anchor
Johnathan Brownlee
as Morning Show Host
Catherine Lough Haggquist
as Morning Show Hostess
Amanda Tapping
as Carrie Maddox
Dan Lewis
as Jake Manning
Margo Myers
as Lori Ruben
Christopher Shyer
as Mark Laughlin
Steve Pool
as Weatherman Sam
Michelle Esteban
as Hope Carmichael
Suleka Mathew
as Airline Attendant
Marika Anuik
as Lanie (age 10)
Kasey Stevens
as Gwen (age 15)
Sean Watson
as High School Teenager
John C. Havens
as Plaza Doorman
Shannon Powell
as Lanie's Mother
Kristine Beuerleine
as Gwen's Daughter
Scott Beuerleine
as Gwen's Son
Bruce Dawson
as Gwen's Husband
Blake Willet
as NYC Cop
James Owen
as KQMO News Director
George Catalano
as Control Room Tech
Shawn Bordoff
as Frightened Flyer
Angela Moore
as Airport Guard
Dick Henley
as Plaza Bell Man
Alexander Kalugin
as Russian Driver
Peter Kelamis
as AMUSA Producer
Berend McKenzie
as Makeup Guy
Eileen Pedde
as Stage Manager
Victoria Deschanel
as Woman at Cafe
Henry O. Watson
as Man at Cafe
Tim Watters
as Bill Clinton
Brent Mendenhall
as George Bush
Tracy Trueman
as Pete's Ex-Wife
Jack Heptonstall
as Farmer Hubberd
John Lyle Campbell
as Man on Plane
Riley Cantner
as Kid with Cold
Ken Whelan
as Police Officer No. 2
Sean Michael Arthur
as Police Officer No. 3
Peter Epstein
as New York Gunman
Heidi Hoppenfeld
as Executive Assistant
Gary Lindsay
as Reporter No. 1
Natasha Smith
as Reporter No. 2
John Sharify
as Reporter No. 3
Tracy Vedder
as Reporter No. 4
Mike James
as Reporter No. 5
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Critic Reviews for Life or Something Like It

All Critics (122) | Top Critics (33)

Audience Reviews for Life or Something Like It

  • Sep 17, 2014
    First there was "Rock Star", and now Stephen Herek is back with "TV News Star". Man, I love this film's actual title, in all of its sarcastic glory, because it sums up the superficiality in this TV reporter's trying to find the meaning of, not life altogether, but [u]her[/u] rather spoiled life. More fitting would have been if Angelina Jolie played, not a reporter, but a weather forecaster, because with lips those bloated, it would rain every day. I sure am piling on cheese with this opener, but I don't know if I'm being any cheesier than this film, because, seriously, this is a romantic-comedy by the guy who did "Critters", "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead", "The Mighty Ducks", 1993's "The Three Musketeers", "Mr. Holland's Opus", the live-action "101 Dalmatians", and "Holy Man". Wow, you'd think that Herek really is a major box office draw, you know, up until you see that the only big star in this film is Angie Jolie, and bombed. This film really did mark the beginning of the end of Herek's relevance, but hey, at least he had his extensive period of fame, as opposed to poor old Edward Burns, whose career wasn't exactly helped by this film. Well, it probably didn't help that he stinks in this film, although he's far from the final product's biggest issue, which isn't to say that there isn't a few things worthy commending, emphasis on "a few". Stephen H. Burum has proven himself to be a fairly talented cinematographer, and here, his tastes in soft lighting are mostly used to accentuate the star power of Angelina Jolie, although there are a number of other handsome visuals that Burum anchors, which isn't to say that his photography is the only pretty thing in here to hold your attention. Well, Jolie isn't the only performance worth noting here, with the underused Tony Shalhoub stealing the show at times as a homeless prophet, while Edward Burns proves to be notable only in his being so flat, but it ultimately comes down to a Razzie-nominated performance by Jolie that convinces more than the lovely lead's blonde wig, bringing charm to an unlikably written character, with some moments of dramatic effectiveness that are rare, but still more than this film deserves. This is one of those cases in which the Razzies gave a nod to a lead just for being involved in a bomb of a film, because Jolie is more-or-less the best thing about this film, so much so that she helps in carrying it, and endearing you to a premise that admittedly has some potential. The subject matter of this film at least has a potential for freshness, brutally betrayed by genericisms that reflect a laziness which ends up defining much about this flat rom-com-dram, but does not completely obscure the intrigue to a story about a woman coming to terms with an uncertain fate, and with her humanity. Of course, the laziness could have completely overshadowed this premise's value, were it not for the occasions in which it is broken, at least by Stephen Herek's direction, which occasionally smooths out the transitions between humor and drama, but mostly just keeps up some degree of liveliness that begets some degree of entertainment value, if not charm. There is something a little endearing about this film, and it, largely on the back of Jolie's performance, grows a little more prominent throughout the film's course, resulting in moments of decency, and, really, an obscurity of any major contemptible moments. The final product all but transcends serious mediocrity, but on the whole, it falls spectacularly flat as a trite and superficial flick that doesn't even carry much weight in concept. I've given a little bit of credit to this story concept for its potential for liveliness and intrigue, maybe even a sliver of originality, but that potential is still seriously limited by superficiality's even managing to rear its ugly head into this premise of little consequence, and no potential to transcend decency. Even the decency is easy to threaten, and John Scott Shepherd's and Dana Stevens' script is certainly threatening in that regard, because even though there are commendable aspects about the acting and storytelling, the writing of this film is consistently flat, with dialogue and even with humor. What ambitions there are to scripting don't always work, because even though the story takes some somewhat engaging turns, it jars its way there, being too uneven with its theme, progression and, to a certain degree, tone for you to get all that comfortably invested in the story, and its contrived characters. If there is some depth to the characterization, that is, of the Lanie Kerrigan lead, then it thrives on Angelina Jolie, because in writing, just about every role feels manufactured, with forced layers to accommodate trite storytelling. Even David Newman's score is almost embarrassing in its being so blasted generic, but the conventions are far from ending there, because if there are unique aspects of this premise, they are lost amidst the aforementioned trite dialogue, humor, characterization and plotting formula that ultimately leads to a predictability which reflects laziness. I don't reckon laziness is a huge, infuriating issue, but the fact of the matter is that there's barely all that much inspiration being put into transcending natural shortcomings, even in the direction, which has a certain charm and color, but not really an pace, thus making the overdrawn nature of this uneven and misguided mess all more punishingly palpable. Maybe the structure of the film isn't punishing in its dragging, because as things go along, engagement value really does start to pick up, with the thickening of material for Jolie, and of worthy themes and story aspects, but these highlights are never that bright, and they arrive much too late to save this superficial misfire of a promising, but ultimately flat affair. Overall, there are handsome occasions in the cinematography, effective moments in Angelina Jolie's acting, and some endearing heights in Stephen Herek's reasonably charming telling of a reasonably promising premise, whose superficiality is emphasized so intensely by flat writing, an uneven narrative, contrived characterization, and genericisms, all of which reflect a certain laziness that wears down patience, until "Life or Something Like It" collapses as a mediocre romantic comedy-drama that could have done something fresh, but doesn't quite secure decency. 2.25/5 - Mediocre
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Mar 21, 2014
    <i>"Haven't you heard the expression that a picture is worth a thousand words?" "That's for people like you who don't know a thousand words."</i> Ambitious newswoman (Jolie) is told by a street prophet (Shalhoub) during a local color interview that she will die in 7 days. Shaken, she reluctantly turns to easygoing smartass cameraman (Burns) for advice and comfort. Poorly executed, both as a story of a person reassessing her life to discover what's important, and as a romantic comedy which is short on comedy and some of the most unromantic dialogue you will ever hear, bickering and bargaining about "having sex" like it's an object as mundane as a bag of potato chips. The blame lies mostly within the screenplay because the stars try to sell it, but there's not enough substance. So inert is the soul of this movie that it couldn't even inspire a halfway decent poster, resulting in conceptual designs as flat as the paper they're printed on. Here's a rare chance to see Jolie as a blond, I think she looks weird with those bouffant goldilocks but underneath she's as radiant as ever. In fact the camera pushes in so close that you may notice for the first time a small indentation in the skin on her right cheek. Edward Burns starts out boorish but develops a little charm along the way, although his high school drama instructor should've shitcanned that raspy whisper he calls a speaking voice.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2012
    Life or Something Like It is a fairly bland and formulaic romantic comedy that tries to get by on the charm of the two leads. The story follows a Seattle report who, after receiving a prediction that she has a week to live, reevaluates her life and the choices that she's made. Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns lead the cast, but don't have particularly good chemistry; though Jolie's charisma keeps the film interesting. However, most of the characters are stereotypical and don't have much depth. Additionally, there are problems with the tone of film and it doesn't balance the serious themes with the comedy that well. Still, Life or Something Like It does have some charm to it and is entertaining for a spell.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    It's too cliche, predictable. Angelina Jolie Played the character well, but the story fell apart, at times confusing. Disappointing twist at the end
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

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