What a pain in the Heigl

Life As We Know It

Kapi-Mana News - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

Star­ring Kather­ine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lu­cas, Christina Hen­dricks, Hayes MacArthur. Screen­play by Ian Deitch­man and Kristin Rusk Robin­son, di­rected by Greg Ber­lanti. 114 min­utes, rated M (sex­ual ref­er­ences), show­ing at Read­ing Porirua and Light House Pau­ata­hanui cine­mas.

There is cin­e­matic po­ten­tial to be mined from a story about two peo­ple un­ex­pect­edly thrust into par­ent­hood – but you won’t find it in Life As We Know It.

Un­less you re­ally need the cam­era to cut to a close-up of a baby look­ing per­plexed ev­ery three min­utes, I’d sug­gest you dust off your copy of Knocked Up and give that an­other spin. Okay, tech­ni­cally it fo­cused on im­pend­ing par­ent­hood rather than the ac­tual tour of duty, but be­lieve me – there’s far more en­ter­tain­ing ob­ser­va­tions and mo­ments of sin­cer­ity in Judd Apa­tow’s hell funny film than this lat­est Kather­ine Heigl ve­hi­cle – and no­body needed to be made an or­phan.

Holly ( Heigl) and Messer ( Josh Duhamel, look­ing re­mark­ably like Johnny Knoxville in The Dukes of Haz­ard) are thrust to­gether as parental guardians for oneyear-old So­phie af­ter her par­ents are killed in a car crash.

Holly and Messer aren’t a cou­ple – they kind of dated once and hated each other – but So­phie’s folks for some rea­son thought the odd cou­ple chem­istry would en­hance their child.

The moth­er­ing part comes pretty quick to Holly, it’s Messer she finds tough to live with. He, mean­while, is strug­gling with the whole sce­nario and how it cramps his bach­e­lor life­style.

This isn’t a com­edy about how crazy-awe­some-tricky it is to be re­spon­si­ble for a baby, nor is it re­ally about Holly and Messer re­assess­ing what’s im­por­tant in their lives. Life As We Know It is about the same thing ev­ery re­cent Kather­ine Heigl movie has been about; an up­tight, luck­less-in-love con­trol-freak be­ing in­fu­ri­ated by a brash­but-love­able rogue for most of a movie, then re­al­is­ing she loves him in the last five min­utes.

Ev­ery­thing else is just set de­sign – in­clud­ing the baby – and the al­most two-hour run­ning time is bru­tal.

Lord knows why Heigl seems com­mit­ted to play­ing the same role re­peat­edly or why writ­ers would come up with some­thing as for­mu­laic and unin­spired as this. Yes, there is even a ‘‘ rush to the air­port in time’’ se­quence.

A cou­ple of scenes man­age to muster some emo­tional re­son- ance but the hack­neyed bick­er­ing be­tween Heigl and Duhamel’s char­ac­ters is just ex­haust­ing, par­tic­u­larly with such lit­tle else go­ing on.

The usu­ally solid Josh Lu­cas is neutered and a lit­tle creepy as the sen­si­tive gen­tle­man woo­ing Holly, while the rest of the sup­port­ing cast – who play neigh­bour­hood fam­i­lies – are lazy cliches; over-bear­ing fat women, del­i­cate gay cou­ple, flirty cougar, etc.

Even Christina Hen­dricks, so mes­meris­ing in Mad Men, is as bland as baby food.

Re­peat per­for­mance: Be­yond a few dirty nap­pies there’s lit­tle dis­tin­guish Life As We Know It from other cookie-cut­ter rom-coms (many of which also star Kather­ine Heigl).

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.