Believable Chemistry Elevates Life As We Know It
- Friday, October 08, 2010
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: October 8, 2010
Rating: PG-13 (for sexual material, language and some drug content)
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Run Time: 113 min.
Director: Greg Berlanti
Actors: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas, Alexis, Brynn and Brooke Clagett, Hayes MacArthur, Christina Hendricks, Melissa McCarthy, Sara Burns, Jessica St. Clair
Employing the ol' if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it mentality, Life As We Know It basically follows every rule in the romantic comedy playbook to a "T"—no clairvoyance required.
But what is surprising and dare we say, unpredictable, about the familiar opposites-attract premise is that the perpetually Type A Katherine Heigl (yes, that Katherine Heigl of Killers and The Ugly Truth fame) and the easy-on-the-eyes Josh Duhamel (When in Rome, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!) do make a pretty great pair, particularly when they're playfully sparring. In fact, it's their combined charms, plus a little help from an adorable baby, that ultimately elevates what could've been a big-screen sitcom gone seriously wrong.
In the sort of set-up that probably only happens at the movies, (let's hope, anyway) Eric, who goes by his last name "Messer" (Duhamel) and Holly's (Heigl) best friends (played by Mad Men's Christina Hendricks and Hayes MacArthur, a frequent T.V. show guest) don't ever bother mentioning that in the unlikely event of their death, Messer and Holly would be picking up the slack in the parenting department.
And then, after the unthinkable happens, Messer and Holly are as surprised as we are to hear the news.
Mind you, these attractive thirty-somethings can barely tolerate each other, (he's a womanizer, she bakes and loves to make lists in her spare time) let alone have a civil conversation, as evidenced by a date that went so bad that they skipped dinner altogether. So naturally, they're the right people to raise their friends' precious baby together? Riiiiiight.
But for whatever reason their friends chose them, and don't worry, the script gets around to explaining that by film's end, they are now forced to step up to the proverbial plate after a car accident leaves sweet little Sophie (played by identical triplets Alexis, Brynn and Brooke Clagett) without a family, save for an elderly grandfather and an aunt and uncle who've got nine kids already.
Of course, these new circumstances pave the way for plenty of awkward—and sometimes funny—situations now that they're living under the same roof (their friends conveniently paid the mortgage ahead of time, but the rest is up to them) and facing the challenges real parents already know all too well—staying sane during a stream of sleepless nights, changing one stinky diaper after the next and feeling helpless when some unexpected ailment rears its ugly head.
Naturally, the situation is even more challenging when each partner also puts in long hours at the office. While Messer is an up-and-coming producer for the Atlanta Hawks' broadcasts, Holly owns a specialty food shop that she's hoping to expand into an après-work watering hole for the locals. But somehow, no matter how busy their schedules, Messer and Holly find a way to navigate the tricky role of single parenting, and apparently, it involves lots and lots of charts.
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