Look, I’m not inherently against the concept of a romantic comedy. I will concede that the premise of a couple falling in love amidst unlikely circumstances is a reasonable idea for a film, but after seeing something like Life As We Know It, and a million others like it, does it always have to be so DUMB?
Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel are Holly and Messer, two good looking people who were once set up on a blind date, where he had a motorcycle and she had a Smart car so the entire evening crashed and burned and they proceeded to hate each other forever. But as friends of two different sides of a couple (Christina Hendricks and Hayes MacArthur), they were forced to spend time together as their friends conceived and birthed their first child, Sophie.
But one day, tragedy strikes and Christina Hendricks is killed off in her first much needed film role in quite some time. Err I mean, tragedy strikes and poor Sophie is left an orphan. Brilliant parents as they were, the deceased couple comes up with a scenario so stupid it can only exist in a movie like this. They want Holly and Messer to raise Sophie, together. Because everyone needs a mom and dad who hate each other.
Eyes on the road!
With the rest of the surviving family in disarray, they find themselves the only option, and so they start to play house, moving into their friends house and raising a kid neither of them wants. It shouldn’t be a breeding ground for romance as if you think about it, it’s really quite a terrible situation, but when you’re in this theater watching this movie, you know what’s going to happen.
The film’s comedy consists of all the hilarious parts of raising a kid. There is poop. The kid makes funny faces. You are tired. More poop. Repeat.
What’s not helping things is that for the entire duration of the film, these two characters are intensely unlikable, with Heigl her usually annoying shrew self, and Duhamel a man who flees responsibility like it’s trying to make him shave and shower. I found myself wishing, in Heigl’s case especially, that the soon-dead Christina Hendricks had swapped roles with her, as I’m extremely tired of Heigl playing characters like this in every single movie she’s in. She’s the female equivalent of Michael Cera.
When the two year old is the best actor present, you know you have issues.
In the movie, she ends up meeting and dating a perfectly nice pediatrician with no discernable flaws whatsoever. But for reasons that escape me, she’s drawn to Duhamel’s dumb ass like a moth to an electric blue light, and is surprised when he lets her down. To top it all off, the movie’s climax involves someone RUNNING THROUGH AN AIRPORT TO STOP SOMEONE GETTING ON A PLANE. Are you kidding me? How can you be a Hollywood writer at this point in film history, and not immediately shoot yourself rather than put such a tired set piece into a romantic comedy?
The best parts of the film include watching baby Sophie do anything cute, and I think the filmmakers are relying on her to balance out the unlikability of its two leads. It works, but only to a point, as their anti-charisma soon clouds out everything else onscreen.
Movies can be funny. Movies can be romantic. Sometimes they can even be both. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Life As We Know It is more often than not, neither.
1.5 out of 5 stars
How could he ever like her with such a lame car! Clearly impossible!