To mangle an old saying, “Some people are born parents, some have parenthood thrust upon them.” “Life As We Know It” takes a sweet and funny look at what happens to two people who could not be more different when they suddenly find parenthood (and togetherness) thrust upon them.
Holly Berenson, played by Katherine Heigl, is a driven, up-and-coming restaurateur, whose polar opposite, Eric Messer, played by Josh Duhamel, is a relaxed, barely-grown-up frat boy who is now a promising network producer. In the opening scenes we see Holly and Messer, as he is known, interact disastrously, thrown together often once their respective best friends meet, marry, and have an adorable daughter, Sophie. Tragedy strikes, and Holly and Messer, as Sophie’s godparents, are left to raise a one year old in the home of their departed friends.
The most comic moments of the movie come from the clashing personalities of Holly and Messer. Holly turns immediately to parenting books and tries to raise Sophie “by the books”. Messer has a more, well, messy style. But both share a love for Sophie and a devotion to the wishes of their friends. Non-parents in the audience may miss out on the references to The Wiggles and Wonder Pets, but despite the tragic setup, the light tone of the movie makes it an amusing ride.
The best part of the movie was watching Messer’s transformation, as he grows to love Sophie and to grow into his unplanned role as a parent. The development of the relationship between Holly and Messer develop was not as believable, however – the stars lacked some chemistry together, and the sudden shifts were not smooth. I thought the ending was not credible, although it did tie up all the loose strings rather neatly. I could not help but feel sorry for Dr. Sam, left out in the cold (and for a moment I idly wondered if I had any single friends in Atlanta that I could introduce to him – can’t let a catch like that go free!).
This was not a movie filled with belly laughs, but it was a pleasant, amusing tale, and an enjoyable movie to watch. I would give it three and a half stars out of five for the funny parenting scenes, character development of Messer, and (to be completely frank) the eye candy of Messer and Dr. Sam.
For more info on the movie, please go to www.lifeasweknowitmovie.com . “Life as We Know It” is rated PG-13. I have received compensation for this review but the content of this review reflects my own opinion.