Life as We Know It is a film I desired to view while the feature was in theaters. Sadly, I never had the opportunity, nor did I know anyone who wanted to view the film as badly as myself. So there I was, waiting patiently for DVD to the point that forgetting was inevitable in many ways. One morning though while going through on demand, I stumbled upon the film being presented through one of the various movie channels. Excited, I forgot about the other pick for the day and pressed play without hesitation. One of the coolest aspects of the film is that Life as We Know It was filmed in my own backyard! The film takes place in Atlanta and was not only filmed in Atlanta, but also filmed in Norcross. One of the locations the film features is the Belly General Store, which is where the bakery scenes were shot. That is just a cool tidbit of trivia for all you Georgia folks who gets overly excited knowing films and shows are getting shot here more often than not these days. There is something undoubtedly cool about being able to have such a connection to a film and recognize locations so that made this film even more of a treat.
The synopsis is about two people on very different paths in life. Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) is on the road to get married and have babies. This is one of the many things she wants out of life. She also runs and owns a successful bakery and desires to expand and remodel. She wants a successful restaurant attached to her location as well. Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), on the other hand, enjoys his playboy lifestyle and his job with the Atlanta Hawks in the control room of Philips Arena letting audiences in on the best plays if they have to sit at home. They are best friends with Peter (Hayes MacArthur) and Alison Novak (Christina Hendricks). Without Eric or Holly’s knowledge, the couple name both of them as guardian to their daughter Sophie should something ever happen to both of the Novaks.
Sadly, the two are killed in an accident. This forces Holly and Eric, two people who cannot stand each other enough to go through with a blind date, to become guardians of Sophie, which is when the insanity ensues. Furthermore, this is one of the interesting aspects of romantic comedies. How will the two people who cannot stand each other finally realize they belong together? This is also the second film of that nature for Heigl, who starred in The Ugly Truth (2009) alongside Gerard Butler. Granted, the circumstances were slightly different and minus a baby, but overall the same passionate hate was there. I would also go as far to say she only had one child to do deal with in that film, while in Life as We Know It she has two if one counts Eric and his man-child nature.
As far as the acting goes, Heigl is terrific. Maybe this is my bias from all those years of her being on Grey’s Anatomy, but I sincerely doubt such. Heigl is a very talented leading lady when utilized within her respective films. This is one of those films that allows her comedic timing to shine through and to truly showcase her talent. The best part is how neither guardian have absolutely no clue on how to raise a child and must figure everything out along the way. Heigl plays Holly a bit neurotic in this regard, but slowly gets into the groove of everything. The same could be said about Duhamel’s portrayal of Eric. Eric of course makes everything a bit more difficult on Holly, due in large part that he does not want to be tied down to a schedule. Duhamel is the perfect balance of being completely terrified and having leftover man-child ways. There is a part of him that desires to reform for his friend and Sophie, but deep down the idea of being a family man instead of being on his own scares him to death. The transformation of his character is a pleasure to watch despite the cliches that come along with the performance. With this being par for the course in the genre viewers will more than likely not mind.
In addition, part of what really makes the film are the supporting characters. Without a great supporting cast, films like this one always take a turn for the worse. The neighbors all have advice on how to help the two transition smoothly into the new roles. My favorite neighbor is Ted (Rob Huebel), who plays a gay man in a committed relationship. He has such views on marriage and everything to the point that he is hilarious. Then again Huebel is rather hilarious no matter what he does apparently. He is also one of the neighbors that comes out and pretends to be watering the lawn or something else to that degree to watch Eric run. The favorite scene that features all the neighbors, which can be seen in the trailer, is when they come over and Holly comes down the stairs with baby pooh on her face. Dee Dee (Melissa McCarthy) has no problem telling Holly she has shit on her face. There is something rather hilarious about the situation that cannot really be explained unless one is a parent or has friends who are parents. My other favorite supporting actor within the film has to be Faizon Love. He plays a cab driver, but in his short time on screen I laughed so much. The man is a true scene stealer within the film and worth paying attention for in the long run. They all deliver a comedic element that would not be there without them.
Overall, this so-called chick flick does not disappoint. This is also one of the few films of late that does not give all the funny parts away in the trailer. I hate when this occurs with films these days and one never really knows going into the theater anymore if that will be the case, but the seed of doubt is almost always planted now. While Life as We Know It is a film I expected merely to like, this was not a movie I expected to want to own. This is also not a film that I felt I would be suggesting all over the place to friends, but the truth is I am. As far as romantic comedies go this is one of the best ones that has come out recently. Life as We Know It is also one that spoils a viewer in terms of future chick flicks, and makes audiences hope that each one will provide entertainment, good writing, and great acting.