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Life as We Know It Reviews

Life As We Know It is a story about two seriously mismatched people who get saddled with a baby after their best friends die in a car accident. Katherine Heigl takes her place as rom-com queen, edging Jennifer Aniston out of the position (sorry, Jen, but it’s getting really old). Taking over the position of her ever-rotating co-stars is Josh Duhamel, who does what he does best -- stand around looking attractive. But the thing that really works between these two actors is that they bring out the best in each other. Duhmel makes Heigl that much more charming, while Heigl helps to expose depth to Duhamel’s acting. Couple that with a film that starts off promising, with a seemingly clever premise and occasional bursts of dialogue that exceed expectations, and you would think Life is a winner; however, just when you get comfortable with the idea that screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson might pull off something original, the film takes a detour into cliche-ville and unfolds like every other date-night rom-com. The story starts when Holly Berenson (Heigl), a career-oriented bake-shop owner, and Eric Messer (Duhamel), a thirtysomething-year-old tomcat who goes by his last name, go on a blind date set up by their friends -- a date that essentially ends before it even starts. Holly’s annoyed by Eric’s giant ego and Eric’s just playing along in hopes of a drunken hook-up. The duo keep rotating into each other’s lives via their married best friends, but after a tragic car accident leaves one-year-old daughter Sophie an orphan, Holly and Messer step up to the plate after discovering they’ve been appointed Sophie’s joint guardians. This is where life changes for the pair, who move into the Atlanta-based McMansion left behind by Sophie’s parents and try to get along, raise a baby together, and find a balance between their new lives and their old lives. The film loses its momentum early on, and director Greg Berlanti compensates by padding out the film with three raising-the-baby montages and a subplot involving the expansion of Holly’s business (which, in the end, goes nowhere). On top of that, the we-don’t-know-anything-about-raising-a-baby cliched gags include the dirty diaper, trying wacky things to stop the baby from crying, and freaking out when social services pays a visit -- all of which are as old and played out as Three Men and a Baby. Still, there are those “awww” moments that you would look for in a film with such an adorable baby, not to mention the fact that there’s some definite chemistry between Heigl and Duhamel. For good measure, though, Deitchman and Robinson throw in the hot pediatrician, Sam (Josh Lucas), just in case there’s any doubt in your mind as to whether Holly might end up alone. Life As We Know It is a film that definitely speaks to new parents (or people who remember what it was like to be new parents) and anyone who loves the comforting embrace of a traditional romantic comedy.