Katherine Heigl hasn't fared well on the big-screen of late, especially since her departure from Grey's Anatomy. Not that she needs to be in another Judd Apatow project, but it might have more to it than what initially opens as underwhelming slap-sticky drama. It could be like a sequel to Knocked Up or The Ugly Truth with a dollop of Raising Helen.
Life As We Know It (sounding something like a forgotten Angelina Jolie vehicle from the last decade) stars Heigl (not much better here than Killers), Josh Duhamel (When In Rome) and Josh Lucas.
Her uptight Holly and Duhamel's lothario in Eric can't stand one another even though they met by way of best friends (Hayes MacArthur and Christina Hendricks of original small-screen Emmy-winner Mad Men).
Holly and Eric are godparents of their goddaughter Sophie, and an accident leaves the adorable 1-year-old orphan in their custody. Even with their disparate personal lives as Holly is attracted to her dreamboat (Lucas) and Eric having his bevy of ladies, mutual parenting obviously leads to something other than constant bickering.
Helmer Greg Berlanti, who made an unknown but more praiseworthy comedy in The Broken Hearts Club navigates personal heartache with light, broad touches in a cutesy, cliched script with line readings of the self-conscious variety. The innuendo (with scenes to alleviate new responsibilities) helps to undermine the impact of the premise which maybe could have offered more inviting comedic possibilities. Ultimately the indulgent timeworn storyline succumbs to a genre as an airport is featured in the big climax.
With Heigl and Duhamel one might think there's a whiff of something more credible than there actually is as the former is the brunt of some of the more messy gags, but plot structure and character development isn't something that works for them together on-screen. Those who've seen this kind of movie before (if you haven't you haven't been to a movie since maybe the analog era) will now where its going long before it gets there. Life As We Know It may have eyes for a struggling, instant family as it really makes you want to like the characters, especially the young ones who fill Sophie. But, couldn't it have done it in a less contrived and corny way?