Friday, 15 October 2010

REVIEW: Life As We Know It

I, baby, am about to get right the fuck out of here.

I think most people on the internet hate Katherine Heigl more then I do. Sure she seems to make exclusively bad, high concept romantic comedies and sure she can be obnoxious sometimes and yes there's a sense of entitlement that she seems to exhale along with the air she breathes, but looking at it that way, her crime is to not apologise for being successful. Do you think Sean Penn has? Do you think George Clooney has? The media tends to go after outspoken actresses with the commitment and ferocity of a much more potent body of reality (how long before Megan Fox's career is destroyed based on a similar principle) and I think sometimes we need to call ourselves on this. Hell Robert Downey Jr says dickish things once and again, and John Cusack seems to treat every interviewer ever to cross his path with a rage born of hell-fire. Do they take this kind of shit?

Heigl isn't the second of Katherine Hepburn or anything, but she's a mildly enjoyable presence who makes the terrible films she's in slightly less abrasive. You certainly don't walk out of Life As We Know It things Josh Duhamel is a the diamond in the rough, and man I better get back to my DVD box set of Las Vegas. For one because nobody owns the box set of Las Vegas and if they do it certainly it wasn't their idea and two because Duhamel is the kind of actor who has a career as long as he maintains his six-pac. Whereas Heigl, well maybe if she stopped making films from an entirely careerist point of view, and made a film because she thought it was going to be good rather then because it could make money, well she could be quite good someday. But the choices need to be a lot less safer, because Life As We Know It like Killers and The Ugly Truth and 27 Dresses before it, revolves around Heigl playing an uptight careerist set against the backdrop of a ridiculous high-concept premise that not only is groan-worthy, but seems to sap one's will to live. Here, Heigl and Duhamel are the respective best friends of a couple (One of whom is played by Christin Hendricks from Mad Men. Ah hell no.) who die, and leave their unborn baby to the two leads even though at this point they loathe each other.

Setting aside for a moment that this is breathtakingly moronic, and really doesn't need adjectives from me to sell you on its stupidity, these guys left clearly put our movie stars feelings and prospects ahead of their own babies. Fine you think they're meant to be, but this is your kid dipshits, you don't willingly place her in an unstable atmosphere full of hate based on a hunch. I'm sorry you guys died and everything but you are some stupid motherfuckers. Elsewhere Life As We Know It goes everywhere you think it will, from the tepid romantic rival in Josh Lucas, to the grating way the two bond over montages and baby-raising. It's a terrible movie, one that doesn't help the romantic comedies slide into what must be at this point at least the second most inner circle of hell. Its everything that's wrong with who studios approach the genre, and while it will no doubt stealth another 30-40 million, nobody gets out looking good.

Heigl's got a couple of films on her CV that look a little more promising, so I'll retain hope. But as much as it may pain the blogosphere to hear, if this generation has a Meg Ryan then its probably Heigl. I don't think she's near Ryan in terms of quality, but I would advocate that when Oscar-Nominee Amy Adams starred in Leap Year, she didn't have the chops to play this horrific, beaten down stereotype of the workaholic woman who doesn't know how to have any fun, but Heigl can. She is pretty much always the best thing about her terrible movies, and to be clear they are terrible, so, you know, I can live with her being around a little while longer.

Rating: 4/10

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