Chick flicks and romantic comedies are plagued with unoriginal concepts and worn out story ideas, often using oxymoronic techniques to achieve some sense of ironic humor. Life As We Know It walks the line between good movie and tired cliché.
Take two people who wouldn’t get along in a normal relationship and force them to be together through a tragedy that destroys any sort of actual tie they would have. Sure, it’s actually a very good log line for a pitch meeting but execution left us for more to be desired. Casting was almost too perfect; there was nobody in this film to give this movie an edge.
When directors and producers look to cast a film they need to place someone in the roles of their leads that drive people into the theaters. So when they locked Katherine Heigl (Killers) and Josh Duhamel (Ramona and Beezus) it only made sense. As beautiful as Heigl is, her range as an actress seems to be limited to the romantic comedy sub-genre, which she has been doing one after the other. Josh Duhamel, who, like Heigl, has a history in other genres, has made his home in this worn out section of the video rental isles. Guess beautiful actors don’t have to learn range when they can fall back on their looks.
Along the lines of perfect casting it brings up the paradox of how this film is supposed to work. Our two lead characters, Holly and Messer, are to be portrayed like oil and water. They can’t work together in the story or they would end up in a relationship immediately, yet the actors portraying them have to have chemistry on screen. Wow, what a tough almost impossible dilemma for the director to undertake. Well, the on screen chemistry between Heigl and Duhamel was pretty good, too bad it made the believability of characters fall flat.
Life As We Know It was a story that had a really good chance standing out and being a cornerstone of dramatic cinema. Unfortunately, it just gets mixed in the pile of romantic comedies that are two-hour distractions in our lives. If they would have taken the plot of two friends that may not have gotten along and had to put aside their negative feelings for each other in order to properly raise their dead friends’ child, and show in it a realistic light, more people would walk away from this considering what the weight of relationships hold and how much we are interweaved with each other.
Sadly this film holds nothing unique for those who are looking for something new. Although for fans of this genre, it is a good film full of familiar laughs and situations that will be comforting and a good time for you and your friends.
Rated PG-13 for sexual material, language and some drug content.