KATHERINE HEIGL JOSH DUHAMEL JOSH LUCAS SARAH BURNS
LIFE as we KNOW IT
This is the second film former Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl has produced which in the romantic comedy world, typically spells bad news. Many prestigious actors do become producers, but for serious films where their money provides them with a valuable voice. In the case of Heigl (27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth) who is well known for her blabber mouth, this was simply a way to get things how she wanted and reign supreme. You don’t have to read too many gossip magazines to understand when her needs are not met, she throws a fit. Heigl once again plays the demanding, snobby, pretty blond who always gets what she wants (such a stretch).
Alison and Peter Novak have two best friends; Alison and Holly (Heigl) have been best friends for ages and share everything, while Peter and Messer (Duhamel) go back to elementary school. Alison and Peter even tried to set up their two best friends on a date that ended before they even got out of the drive way. When Alison and Peter are killed in a car accident, Holly and Peter are named their one year old daughter’s godparents. They must move into their best friends’ house and raise this orphan child, but eventually begin to interact as a family.
From the trailer or first five minutes of the film we know exactly where this film is going to end up, for one it’s a romantic comedy, thus strategically predictable; two every Heigl movie ends with her getting what she wants. Filled with endless “yeah right” moments some of the ones that struck me as obvious were when Holly desperately calls all the business cards with the name Sam to find her crush; the screenplay establishes her character as mature and controlling and that segment was out of character. The most shocking was the lack of tears shed over the death of her two best friends and the lonely child, the movie uses heavy shadowing during that scene to cover up the fact Heigl can’t pull off a realistic cry. Another thing that bothered me because they try to slip a fast one, was when the child calls Holly “ma ma”, even though she has been trying to teach the two year old to say “Holly”, children only repeat what they hear, and up until that point the child had never the word “mama”.
The chemistry with Heigl and Duhamel works better than most of her counterparts in previous films, and the film attempts to give him equal screen time. Two of the film’s better parts were all the scenes with the very funny Melissa McCarthy (Charlie’s Angels), and the alternate verse to “The Wheels on the Bus” which get intertwined with Keanu Reeves and Speed. This film unlike most romantic comedy’s will likely appeal more to married couples especially those with children. I couldn’t help but remember the line from Steel Magnolias, where M’Lynn (Sally Field) after her daughter’s funeral says “I wanna know how that baby will ever know how wonderful his mother was! Will he ever know what she went through for him,”; we never once see that kind of passion or emotion for this child, nor does the film present the parents well enough for us to care, we don’t even see the accident, it’s all sped up to get to the funny parts.
Final Thought – A predictable screenplay, one funny fat lady, and typical Heigl.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor Jennifer Gih