Synopsis: In the romantic comedy “Life as We Know It,” Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) is an up-and-coming restaurateur and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) is a promising network sports director. After a disastrous blind date, the only thing they have in common is their dislike for each other and their love for their goddaughter, Sophie. But when they suddenly become all Sophie has in the world, Holly and Messer are forced to put their differences aside. Juggling career ambitions and competing social calendars, they’ll have to find some common ground while living under one roof.
Release Date: October 8, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy,
When tragedy befalls, two very different people become instant parent’s to a baby providing the viewer a film that is watchable, but far from really enjoyable. When Holly and Eric’s best friends are killed in a car accident they are given custody of their one-year old baby. The catch, Holly and Eric hate each other. Or do they? In flashbacks we see how they came to know one another and it is quite obvious a playful flirtation, masked by disdain and hate, has always been present. Cue likelihood that Eric and Holly will in fact get together in the end of the film and a new family created. Therein is the predictability of Life As We Know It. There is nothing original about the story or the circumstances the two characters get themselves into by not having any experience with a baby. If you can think of something a baby can do or do to a person then you know every joke before it happens. As for Holly and Eric’s romance, it comes together just as it should but one cannot help but think it would have been better to have them end up apart, as friends and caregivers, instead of lovers as well. Holly and Eric make a great pair as friends/brother-sister-esque types. That somewhat progressive idea is vacant from Deitchman and Robinson’s script, especially since the respect Eric and Holly must attain for one another in order to be co-parents is never fully realized. Instead the standard formula persists throughout, never offering a new spin on an old story, or even a decent sinful treat of a fluff movie for the masses.
I am quite convinced you could put Josh Duhamel (Eric Messer) in the corner of a room, surrounded by other actors, have him say absolutely nothing and he would still get all of your attention. His charm is immeasurable. In this instance he has plenty to say and do and he pulls of the bachelor-for-life, borderline cad character better than one could imagine. I believe it has something to do with the ways his eyes sparkle when he smiles. All of that said, Duhamel’s Eric is everything we want him to be as the unlikely, but fated to be, romantic interest for Holly (Katherine Heigl). He is also the only lead of the film that shows any sort of growth as he learns to be a father and make the sacrifices necessary to have a family. But Holly is not all she could be even if Heigl tries very, very hard. Holly is the complete opposite of Eric. She wants marriage, children, a successful career and business and an altogether normal life. All of these things have not happened for her yet and she is anxious. As said above, Heigl is desperate for you to like her Holly. So much so that we see straight through her and a great many scenes are horrifically awkward. The more carefree, happy, funny side of Holly appears to be the most difficult character traits for Heigl to perform. When the need for bitter, angry, and controlling are required she works magic. Heigl just does not seem to have a hold on Holly and it makes it very difficult for the viewer to like her, or care one way or another about her. There needed to be more of a genuine, easy, free approach to Holly while balancing her penchant for mood swings and it is simply not present. Thankfully Duhamel’s Eric performs well in spite of her constant faltering.
Aside from the two main characters there are of course the supporting characters who provide much needed comic relief and honestly the best performances of the entire film. That is saying a great deal when they only appear on occasion. Melissa McCarthy as Deedee steals every scene she is in with her southern charms, and baby/marital advice. Most of the comedy that comes from these characters, that consist of all of your typical suburban neighbors (the gay couple, the aging beauty yearning to be noticed, and even the husband in desperate need of a bromance), has to do with their flirtations and blatant cries for attention from Eric. They lust after him in their own very specific ways and it is hilarious to watch them try and gain his attention. Even more so when they comment slyly about him in corners. This bunch is a mismatch of unique supporting characters whom without the film would be a dry melodramatic bore relying on poopy diapers as the main source of humor.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Greg Berlanti
- Producer(s): Ian DeitchmanKristin Rusk Robinson
- Screenwriter(s): Katherine Heigl (Holly Berenson)Josh Duhamel (Eric Messer)Josh Lucas (Sam)
- Story: Christina Hendricks (Alison Novack)
- Cast: Melissa McCarthy (Deedee)Hayes MacArthur (Peter) Jim PageAndrew DunnMaher Ahmad
- Cinematographer: Blake Neely
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA