Growing up, I loved the movies Three Men and a Baby (did you see the ghost?), Mr. Mom (OK, basically anything with Michael Keaton), and Baby Boom. Perhaps I am nostalgic about these films because I watched them with a child’s eyes, but there was something so fun about them. No, I’m not talking about the diaper jokes or even implying that the films were perfect, but they bring up fond memories when I think about them. Sure, I haven’t watched any of those movies in over a decade and I could have a totally different take on them now, but it was entertaining to watch the antics of people being forced to deal with taking care of a baby. Heck, I even enjoyed it when Joey and Uncle Jesse tried their hand at it.
I like to think of these films as the “family makeover” movies (which is similar to the “house makeover” genre like Money Pit and Funny Farm; or the “makeover makeover” films like She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, or Spider-Man 3—he looked so different as Venom). I guess I just like the type of film where transformations take place (except The Wolfman, never The Wolfman). So, although I have yet to see a Katherine Heigl movie I actually enjoyed, I decided to give Life as We Know It a chance. It wasn’t exactly the best idea I’ve ever had.
First, I was really put off by the DVD itself. I am not sure if it’s just a Warner Bros thing, but this DVD had commercials you could not skip. I tried the menu button. Nope. Then I pushed “next chapter.” Still no luck. Then I tried to fast forward through the multitude of advertisements. Even that was a no go. At this point, I was seriously pissed off. While I appreciate that the production company spent a pretty penny for some techy person to program the DVD to ignore any controls while the commercials played, I was tired of it after about the third commercial. Most of these ads were really not directed at me. I mean, come on, a Yogi Bear video game and several Scooby-Doo films (one of which featured an actor as Shaggy who sounded horrible. Sometimes I just miss Matthew Lillard) were totally unrelatable to me. So I did the dishes and didn’t watch the remainder of the commercials. Take that production company! Although I guess in a way they actually won because I remembered the titles of what they were promoting. Doh! Whatever. Once the dishwasher was going and I was sure the autoplay crap was finished, I settled in to watch Life as We Know It.
Like most modern romantic comedies, the plot makes no sense at all. Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Eric (Josh Duhamel) hate each other, mostly because they are just so darned perfect for one another. She is a classic type A personality and he is what I assume is a type E (that’s the category for the bad boy who is a teddy bear deep down, right?). Anyway, they are forced to put up with each other since their two besties are hitched. Time passes in a quick montage and their friends have a kid. Unfortunately in a tragic turn of events, the buds are killed. Holly and Eric, however, are shocked to learn that they were both named junior’s guardians in the will. Oh, and apparently they must live together in their friends’ house to raise the kid. That happens, right? The rest of the film consists of several overly-contrived situations as the two wacky kids discover they may have feelings for one another.
I expected this to be incredibly bad. It wasn’t. Instead, I found it to be boring and below average. I thought it would be laughable at all the plot contrivances, but they were just uncomfortable. For example, when Holly crashed Eric’s motorcycle which was subsequently run over by a bus; Holly responds by saying “oops.” Oops? I’d say. Did I mention she did that “put your hand over your open mouth in fake horror” move? Does anyone actually do that besides Katherine Heigl and Jennifer Anniston?
So much of this film felt awkward and pieced together. Almost all of the characters are incredibly juvenile and were difficult for me to really root for. Also, the supporting cast (well, the neighbors who always appeared and left as a group because none of them were really allowed any depth) were more annoying than they were funny. Yeah, these quirky, nosy neighbors were supposed to be the comic relief, but they are caricatures instead of remotely resembling real people. Every time that pack came onscreen, I was tempted to fast forward (I did not, though).
I really wanted this movie to have some comedic moments, but I think I could catch most of the same humor on any given AFV episode and it would have been funnier than Life as We Know It. Sucks. It just felt like there was so many possibilities for zaniness and they were squandered. Now, I will admit I did laugh out loud when Eric pushed the baby after she stood up on her own the first time. So I’m chaotic neutral with tendencies towards chaotic evil. What of it?
Overall, this film was just boring. I don’t know what the problem is with recent rom-coms, but they are seriously lacking. Maybe I need to revisit the romantic comedies that I enjoyed from years past to see if they still hold up or if I have just evolved into a bitter scrooge when it comes to that genre. Oh well, in this case, I think it was definitely the movie, not me.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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