Heigl film lacks suprise but has heart
If you are up to date with your Katherine Heigl movies, “Life As We Know It” is unlikely to throw any real surprises your way.
This new film, which opened on Oct.8, is typical of Hollywood’s fair-haired sweetheart.
However, if you can look past the fact that this film appears to be another token Heigl movie, the overall quality might surprise you. There is no denying that “Life As We Know It” is another archetypal romantic comedy, but this movie has the kind of heart that other romantic comedies strive for but seldom achieve.
Heigl is paired with co-star, Josh Duhamel, after their mutual friends (Christina Hendricks and Hayes MacArthur) set them up on a catastrophic blind date. Unfortunately for their characters, Holly and Messer, they can’t simply push one another into bad-date oblivion.
Over the course of the subsequent years, Holly and Messer remain part of each other’s lives, united by their now-married best friends, and eventually by their friends’ daughter Sophie, to whom they are named godparents and, unbeknownst to Holly and Messer, guardians. Holly and Messer develop a relationship based on mutual annoyance and antagonization, only barely tolerating each other for the sake of the people they love.
Fate bonds Holly and Messer together in a permanent way when their best friends die and they discover that they granted Holly and Messer joint guardianship of Sophie. Suddenly, Holly and Messer need to overcome their aversion to each other and raise a child.
The movie follows this hapless pair as they stumble and struggle through parenthood, highlighting all the funny and stressful moments that come their way. In this incredible situation that could only play out the way it did within the confines of a movie script, the characters learn about love and family in a very hands-on, head-first manner.
Although the plot of “Life As We Know It” may leave viewers with “Knocked Up” flash backs, there are a few notable differences – for one, Josh Duhamel is no Seth Rogen. Duhamel is better matched with Heigl, and together they have an undeniable chemistry. The duo has a great cinematic presence that keeps the film entertaining, despite the fact that it’s not the most original storyline. Secondly, there is a much stronger and more authentic dramatic presence in this film than “Knocked Up.” It’s comical and cute, which is to be expected, but there is a level of sadness and tragedy in the film that sets it apart.
Overall, “Life As We Know It” joins the ranks of conventional romantic comedies, but there is a level of poignancy and depth to this film that puts it just a cut above the rest. The film seamlessly blends comedy with drama and takes you on an emotional roller coaster. The characters are well developed, engaging, and likable. You find yourself caring about this frenzied couple and hoping that they overcome the difficulties thrown their way. While not a cinematic masterpiece, “Life As We Know It” gives you the entertainment and enjoyment you want in a movie.
Emily Lake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.