Death's No Big Deal and Parenting's a Breeze in Life As We Know It
Set up on a blind date by their married best friends, Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Messer (Josh Duhamel) show each other the worst of themselves (You look like you read, he says disparagingly. Trust me, she doesnt) and separate in a huff before making it to dinner. Soon, the best friends die, leaving custody of a baby daughter to the incompatible twosome. Guess how long it takes the barely mourning singles to fall in love? If sitcom parenthood begins with a romantic kiss and resolves itself in a lifetime of compromise and adjusted expectations, Life As We Know It imagines motherhood in reverse. Largely shooting through a hazy white, dreamlike filter, director Greg Berlanti creates some womans dream: instant satisfaction of domestic and matrimonial urges via the takeover of a perfect friends perfect lifewith the added bonuses of transforming an Entourage-style dude into a domesticated dad, and indulging in desserts while still fitting into a pencil skirt. And all without having to put up with stretch marks, without putting the career on hold, without having to do much at all but change an occasional diaper. Perfect wish fulfillmentright? If only. Life offers some vicarious pleasure for the baby-hungry, but it also forces Heigland most of the other women in the pictureto humiliate themselves for the sake of gags that debase without drawing laughs (unless errant poop is your idea of a comic riot . . . ?), while Duhamels himbo struts obliviously. The feminine fantasies Berlanti seemingly seeks to stoke are undercut by a vibe thats weirdly misogynistic.
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