Projections - Movie Reviews

Life or Something Like It

Life or Something Like It

Life goes on while Angelina Jolie's Lanie Kerrigan, a rising Seattle TV reporter, is climbing the ladder of success and hopes to be hired by AM USA the big network in New York.  When she is told she will die in a week it all begins to unravel.

The script revolves around television news but its playing field could be any high powered arena of work.  Lanie models her hair a-la Marilyn Monroe full and bleached blond, as she says "It's my trademark."  She wears the perfect clothing and is never without high heals.  She is dating a slugger from the Seattle Mariners and hopes to become the slugger's wife.  They look like a perfect couple.  Their apartment is spotless steel and glass and has all the perfect amenities.

We also learn that Lanie continues to have a sibling rivalry with her sister, Gwen (Lisa Thornhill) for the affection of her remaining parent, her father (James Gammon).  It's hollow but in her opinion she has a perfect life.

While interviewing a street prophet (Tony Shalhoub), a part which has the feel of Robin Williams' The Fisher King, she takes his predictions to heart when he is right about a football victory and hail the next morning.  What is more important he predicts her death within a week and no success at AM USA.

Forced to think about death she begins to see the point of view of a prankster camera man (Ed Burns) who she hates to work with.  The two see life very differently and have alternate definitions of life.  He is close to a free spirit and she is a planned organized climber.

Jolie, who has made her career to date by playing unusual characters with Tomb Raider and Girl Interrupted as examples, is a most convincing centrist - one of us looking for the good life - as she sees it.

As she crosses in front of ABC's new studio at Times Square we begin to believe that the prophet may be right.  But what is a surprise and of value in Life or Something Like It is how it leaves us with an idea of our values and dreams, what they are and what they should be.

Life or Something Like It

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