Life As We Know It (2010)
Another Hollywood Cliche Romantic Comedy
Predictable and cliched as hell, but you got to admit it's funny and entertaining. For those that know me well, I don't normally praise too many romantic comedies; especially modern ones, as they're the worst. You always have two cliched characters that don't often like each other at first, due to some emotional security issues, and the fact they're both completely the opposite. Or, you have a protagonist who is often highly insecure and socially inept around the opposite sex. While in either scenario, the film conveniently placing them in various settings where they're mutual physical attraction towards one another, allows for them to slowly fall in love with each other, as they're often pulled together by the story. In the end, the guy always makes some last ditch effort to win the love of his girl, and they typically ride off on some cliche modern fairy tale type ending.
As I said before, romantic comedies are infamously known for their predictability. What makes romantic comedies often worse is the fact they sometimes tend to take themselves too seriously, or they'll focus too much on the comical aspect to where the story will just suck. I'm sorry to be so bold, but that's the truth. However, to be fair, there are a few out there that don't take themselves overly seriously, as they just try to tell a genuinely heartfelt that's funny, without resorting to petty cheap low brow humor that's hardly funny like in "Mr. Deeds."
Is "Life As We Know It" another run of the mill cliche romantic comedy? Yes, it is, but it's one of the few that's actually pretty damn good. Unlike most generically cliched romantic comedies, "Life As We Know It" doesn't try to be anything more than what it is, as it just tells you a genuinely heart touching story that captivates the audience throughout the entire film. Sure, there's still the typical cliched moments where the film plays on their mutual attraction for one another. However, what I loved most about this movie is that it doesn't force it. If anything, all the humor and romantic moments of this movie have more of a natural feel to them, which not only lends itself well to creating a perfectly crafted story that's touching to it's audience, but it allows for the humor to come off funny as well. Something that most romantic comedies tend to mess up on, but this movie actually pegged it perfectly. Not taking itself too seriously, while still remaining sensible enough to not dumb down it's audience with petty low brow comedy.
The movie is basically about two characters, Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Eric (Josh Duhamel), who are set up on a blind date by their best friends that happen to be married. Unfortunately, the date doesn't exactly go well, as Eric is a bit of a playboy, and Holly is a uptight control freak, so they never exactly make it through the date. Both agreeing that the fix up by their friends was a mistake, so they both decide to never date each other again. Years later, as their same best friends that set them up on that horrendous date, have just recently died. Naturally, this would be a traumatic and sad experience for anyone to know their best friend was dead, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. As it turns out, they're friends had it arranged that, in the unlikely event of their death, Eric and Holly would be given guardianship of the baby, and would have to reside inside the house together. Needless to say, this comes as a severe shock to Holly and Eric, as they're friends never told them anything about this arrangement prior to the incident.
Feeling some moral obligation to fulfill their friends' request, they both reluctantly agree to honor their last wishes. What transpires after wards, is a series of events where Holly and Eric are forced to put up with the trials and tribulations of being parents, while also having to deal with the notion of having to put up with each other. Along the way, like all romantic comedies, the two characters argue a lot, but they're mutual physical attraction for another leads to many romantic moments throughout the film, that makes the relationship more believable. As I said before, all romantic comedies are predictable, and this film isn't any different. However, it doesn't rush anything, and rather than resorting to cheap laughs like most romantic comedies do, this one generates laughter and emotional connections based on authentic character development and clever story telling.
In fact, this is probably the best romantic comedy that I've seen since "She's Out Of My League." Josh and Katherine were especially great in this movie together. As they both fed off each other so well with their chemistry, it wouldn't be too hard to believe in their characters' hidden affections for each other was real between the two actors. Katherine Heigl was her usual charming and witty self. Although she seems to always play the same kind of character in these type of romantic comedies, where she's some love struck damsel who's looking for love, but she ends up finding it in a person that one would least likely suspect, but she plays it off quite well. As for Josh Duhamel, what can I say about the guy? He's funny and plays the charming playboy-ish jerk off to perfection, while keeping his character grounded enough to make him appeal to the film's target audience.
Overall, I doubt seriously this film will win any awards or become one of this year's biggest blockbusters, but it's entertaining. Sure, it's another run of the mill romantic comedy, but it's probably one of the best ones there. In fact, I'd stake my reputation on it, as Katherine and Josh worked great together. Definitely a great date movie for you guys wanting to take your girls out to see a chick flick that even you might enjoy as well. I guarantee it. This film gets an official three out of four stars.
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