Oct. 13, 2010 - Issue #782 : Future Edmonton
Life As We Know It
Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Eric (Josh Duhamel) are the disastrous first-daters who get odd-coupled again by their friends when they die, leaving little orphan Sophie behind to them, as her godparents and assigned guardians. The movie itself is pretty uninterested in grief, loss or sad memories, replacing them quickly with anxious parenting, cute baby faces or sex.
The entire diaper of a movie unfolds pretty much as you'd expect, from puke and poop on these shocked new parents' faces to the romance always heaving and simmering beneath the barely restraining bodice of the couple's flimsily see-through dislike for each other. Flickering comic relief is provided, per usual, by bit players, like Eric's work-buddy, who notes, "Marriage? Imagine a prison ... and then don't change anything." The state—watchful Child Protection Services—is always suspicious, hovering over Substitute Mom and Dad. Only at the end is the care-worker shown as not so severe and judgemental. And one or two expletives, along with a plate of pot brownies, get tossed in for some slightly spicy adult moments.
There are enough shots of Sophie's cute little oh-so-cute baby face to either make you want to buy all of Anne Geddes' books or sterilize yourself immediately. But there's no real turbulence, over parenting or careers or in the usual last-act hurdle to professed love, to make Life As We Know It anything like life as anyone knows it. Instead, it's a cruise-control ride through a Hollywood dream where two people take care of a tot in a suburban set out of O Magazine or Martha Stewart Living. Holly cares so, so much for Sophie while also dressing stylishly and running an upmarket restaurant-café. Eric loves sports, rides a motorcycle, gets eye-drooled over by all females 12 and up and one gay man, and can't admit just how much he loves Holly and Sophie.
The only surprise after all this lovely-looking unlifelikeness is how much the movie still seems to expect us to care when Eric finally declares, "We're a family." Duh. That was clear all along, but it was obvious just as early on that this isn't a realistic, romantic, or comic family anyone should give a baby-poop about. V
Opens Opens October 8, 2010 but an advanced screening at select theatres will start on October2, 2010.
Directed by: Greg Berlanti
Written by: Ian Deitchman, Kristin Rusk Robinson
Featuring: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel
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