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Movie ReviewsRating: 4 of 5 yaps

Life As We Know It

If you were to look up formulaic romantic comedy, undoubtedly you would stumble across Warner Bros. Picture’s latest release “Life as We Know It.”Luckily for the director Greg Berlanti and screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson, Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl come to the rescue.

After a disastrous first meeting, Messer (Duhamel) and Holly (Heigl) find themselves thrown together, their lives changed forever when their best friends Peter (Hayes MacArthur) and Alison (Christina Hendricks) are killed in a car accident. Compounding their issues of grief is the fact the couple left guardianship of their child Sophie (played by a trio of tots) to Messer and Holly.

Messer is the proverbial guy’s guy. He works for the Atlanta Hawks, beds a different lady every night, all the while breezing carefree through life. Holly owns a bakery and has been trying to connect with a handsome stranger Sam (Josh Lucas), who visits the shop daily. Now the duo must shack up in the same house to raise Sophie.

As they struggle to find the way to bring up a child, the two predictably begin to connect, but a job offer splits the twosome before anything can really get going. But now the once lady’s man Messer finds himself longing for the two ladies he never wanted in his life in the first place. Also, the strong-willed Holly finds she prefers the messy-haired Messer over Dr. Sam and races to tell him before he jets back to his new job in Phoenix.

It’s said that a screenplay should have something major happen in the first five to 10 pages, but Deitchman and Robinson must have missed that lesson somewhere along the line.

Berlanti could have easily cut the first 10 minutes of the film and made a tighter film that lost one of the most out of place set-up scenes in recent memory. Instead of showing how the riff between Messer and Holly came about in a quick sequence, which he ends up doing anyway, the director sets up the action with a rambling opening that almost leaves the audience behind.

That being said, once the movie gets going, the charm of Heigl and especially Duhamel is enough to pull what could be a mediocre romcom from the ashes and give us something with a charisma that exceeds beyond all its limitations.

Heigl and Duhamel make the most of their thinly written characters and give performances that are impressive. Heigl seems locked in to the same type of roles, but for the first time, I didn’t find her utterly annoying. It might sound harsh, but when you play the same role continuously, the act gets old really quick. In “Know It,” she is able to rise above and show some truly moving moments.

Duhamel is the real deal in my book. It’s easy to overlook Duhamel as just another pretty-faced action hero, but his turns in “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton,” “Turistas” and “Ramona and Beezus” show the actor has range and should possibly be given the key to a franchise, maybe such as a certain superhero with blue tights, red cape and an yellow ‘S’ emblazoned on his chest. Just thinking out loud here.

Charming turns from Duhamel and Heigl save what is a weak, formulaic script and sitcom quality directing and delivers a film with heart that should snare its share of its opening weekend box office.

4 out of 5 Yaps

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24 Responses to “Life As We Know It”

  1. Matt says:

    Even at 4 yaps I would not want to be dragged to a Katherine Heigl movie…

  2. Jerry Bane says:

    For my wife and I who are about to have our first child, it really hit home for us. Out of a dark and tragic beginning, grew a great little romantic comedy that will appeal to all families alike.

  3. Gina Fox says:

    I wasn’t going to see this movie, but this description may have talked me into it. Sometimes the cookie cutter romantic comedy is to "sugarcoated" for me, but this one seeems like it would worth seeing just for the fine performances Heigl and Duhamel.

  4. Victoria Dodge says:

    As Gardner duly points out, there was no history for the rift between the characters in Life As We Know It. Regardless, I thought the film was delightful, funny, and entertaining. Duhamil is a "hunk" regardless of your age, as I am nearing 60 and my daughter, 16, were both "smitten". Perhaps a "prequel" is in order.

  5. Victoria says:

    I can’t wait to see the movie. I think the situation is sad but still a good story to tell about the unkown possibilities.

  6. Jaye Miller says:

    Great movie. Funny and touching. Love when he pushed the baby down.

  7. Dave says:

    I didn’t really like this one. Just couldn’t get into it. I just don’t relate with the characters in this one very well. But put together good with very good acting.

  8. Jake Bray says:

    this movie was a thumbs up cute and funny, my fav part was the case worker and brownies haha

  9. Robert Baumann says:

    This is a must see movie!!! Two plus thumbs up. The cast was awesome and look for awards to come there way. Also want to say a special thanks to Film Yap for free tickets for this movie! Rhanks, Robert Baumann

  10. Leeann says:

    Such a cute and funny movie. I loved it when Holly was driving back from the airport and the caseworker is the one that was crying…

  11. Jacki says:

    The movie was touching, humorous, and entertaining. I’m not a Katherine Heigl fan but I thought she did a good job. It was nice seeing Josh follow behind the baby in his boxers.

  12. LaQuisha says:

    I loved this film! Great love story movie, love the part when playboy Messer didn’t care nothing about Holly until he saw her going out on a date with Sam! Classic!

  13. Lara says:

    I agree that the film was predictable and pretty much your standard chick flick, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The audience was laughing out loud several times during the screening I saw. Definitely worth seeing on DVD. Paying full price at the theater? Not so much.

  14. Nathan L. says:

    Great Movie. There was some very funny parts in this movie.

  15. Jacquie D says:

    It was cute, predictable and relatively wholesome with pretty people.

  16. Sylvia I says:

    I thought this movie was okay… but it just seem familiar it had that same feel as the "Back-up Plan" women going thru mid-life crises and want’s the man,kid and the white picket fence. I’m getting tried of Katherine Heigl playing the same old roles over and over again. She’s a talented actress, I think she can do better in other roles.

  17. Alicia D says:

    Loved this film!

  18. Tracy C. says:

    I laughed and teared up even though this movie was somewhat predictable.

  19. Brenda Randall says:

    This is a good movie. It touched my heart to see two people come together to raise this little girl after her parents were killed in a car accident. It was a life changing event for them.

  20. Lprchn3 says:

    I love Katherine Heigl and think that Josh Duhamel’s spontaneiousness adds a layer of fun that the script might have lacked. Perhaps this is what brought Katherine out of her shell and raised her acting above previous performances.

  21. mapferrer says:

    This was a great movie. It was very funny!! ****

  22. aunestie says:

    Loved this film!! Nice twist on a love story.

  23. Indy_Fan says:

    This movie was great! Not just a chick flick.