By Mike A. Smith
If you’ve seen the previews for “Life As We Know It,” you pretty much know the plot line. Young couple with baby die tragically, willing their two best friends, who can’t stand each other, to care for said baby. Knowing this much going into the film I was pretty sure I was going to see a standard “odd-couple thrown together fall in love” film. Thankfully I was very surprised by the time “Life As We Know It” ended.
2007. Holly (Heigl) is getting ready for a blind date, set up by her friends Alison and Peter (Christina Hendricks and Hayes MacArthur). Messer (Duhamel) obviously doesn’t do well with blind dates. Arriving an hour late and in jeans and a trucker’s cap (Holly is dressed for a restaurant that doesn’t use plastic cutlery), he obviously has no interest in Holly. They go their separate dating ways: Messer concentrating on young hotties while Holly has eyes for a local doctor (Lucas) that frequents her gourmet bakery. As the years pass, Alison and Peter get married, the event, and others, forcing Holly and Messer to be in the same room together. But the two opposites have one thing in common: they are both crazy over Sophie (played by Alexis, Brynn and Brooke Clagett), Alison and Peter’s new baby girl. Sadly, the young marrieds are killed in a car accident. Holly and Messer are informed that they have been chosen to raise Sophie. Putting their differences aside the two move into Alison and Peter’s home (arranged by their attorney) and set out on a journey that neither planned to take.
Thanks to fine performances, and a story that is not predictable, “Life As We Know It” turns out to be a well crafted comedy. Heigl continues to make the successful jump from television to film and does a fine job with both the humorous and more dramatic scenes her role calls for. Duhamel, also a television vet (“Las Vegas”) and part of the “Transformers” film series, also acquits himself well. First time screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson have constructed a storyline that doesn’t telegraph “what happens next” every few minutes. Berlanti, creator and main writer on the television series “Everwood” (and one of the writers for next year’s “Green Lantern”), has a knack for pacing and the film flows smoothly without any stumbles. The only character that seems forced is that of Lucas’ doctor, whose main reason for being is never fully revealed. However, how often do you get a movie where two of the stars are both named Josh? Imagine if Josh Brolin and Josh Hartnett joined these two on screen. It would be a virtual Josh-a-thon. And, yes, little Sophie is cute as a bug!
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Combo Details :
You get, as the aforementioned subtitle suggests, a copy of the film on Blu-ray, DVD and as a digital file. Winning.
Numerous featurettes, additional scenes and, a funny but strangely-enough handy, ‘A Survival Guide to Instant Parenting’.
Good flick. Good home video release.