‘Life As We Know It’
By MICHAEL WALTERS
Katherine Heigl continues her audience alienation campaign by appearing in “Life As We Know It” another film that insults its audience’s intelligence at every turn and depicts her as the world’s most bossy, shrill, controlling shrew. And you can’t entirely blame a Hollywood culture that doesn’t give enough positive rolls to women. Heigl served as executive producer on this project so presumably she had some input on how she should be portrayed.
The film opens with Holly (Heigl) getting ready for a first date with a friend of her best friend’s boyfriend- a jock named Messer played by Josh Duhamel. He shows up an hour late, that ticks her off, she hates his motorcycle, he gets a booty call in her car, and the first date is over without even getting out of the driveway. But then their best friends get married, they’re the best man and maid of honor and they still hate each other. The new couple has a kid, gets in a car accident and dies, and in their will they name their best friends as the child’s guardians to live in their house and take care of their daughter.
This is a plot so wrong headed and implausible, it sounds like a parody of bad sitcom ideas. It sounds a bit like something Jerry and George might have dreamed up and then rejected while brainstorming for ideas for a show on Seinfeld. It’s a film that begs the question, What were they thinking when they green-lighted this movie? The puke jokes start at about 10 minutes in. And then the poop jokes come fast and furiously at about a half hour. The movie always seems worried that it’s audience won’t get its humor or understand what just happened, so characters come right out and explain things right after they happen, and it never fails to take a joke too far so it ceases to be funny, not that there’s a shred of originality or humor in this dire desperate rom-com.
Case in point — Since these two hate each other at the beginning we know they’re going to end up loving each other eventually. In the warming up period, Heigl decides to let him teach her how to ride his motorcycle. She immediately lets it get away from her and we see it crash. And then it is run over by a passing bus. I half expected a steamroller and a marching band to trample it too.
Heigl is bossy and controlling for the first 45 minutes, but then when she gets stuck in the nitty gritty of parenting she becomes even more irritatingly shrill. Duhamel looks as though he’s rethinking his career choices in the middle of the poorly written scenes. After “When In Rome,” I thought it was a cinch that Josh Duhamel couldn’t appear in a worse romantic comedy this year. I was wrong. I came to dread every single dreadful romantic comedy cliché that came up in the inevitable slog towards yet another run to the airport conclusion.
This is one hour and 52 minutes of pure rom-com hell, and easily a contender for worst movie of the year.