I’ll admit it, I like romantic comedies, I also happen to like Katherine Heigl, so it should be a foregone conclusion that I should like the combination of the two. Wrong. I disliked Knocked Up, I was mildly amused by The Ugly Truth, and I am trying to make up my mind about her last film, Life as We Know It.
The only thing wrong with Heigl, as Holly Berenson, the owner of a gourmet café and god mother to orphan Sophie (Alexis, Brynn, and Brooke Clagett, Brooke Liddell, and Kiley Liddell), is that she plays it safe. In other words, there is nothing to distinguish her character from half a dozen others that she has played before. Holly is good hearted, pretty, ambitious, organized, and a bit clueless about men., or in other words a typical Heigl character.The only time Heigl surprised me was when I thought she had trouble keeping a straight face in her scenes with co-star Josh Duhamel. At best she merits a solid C for the role, no better, no worse.
Duhamel, who plays Eric Messer, is presented as basic eye candy in a chick flick, though that is not to say he is not funny in his role as a good hearted, good timing guy who is forced to grow up when he has to take care of Sophie with Holly. In short, it isn’t Duhamel’s fault that the film fails to live up to expectations, since he does better in his role than Heigl does in hers.
If neither Heigl nor Duhamel is to blame for this romantic comedy, then the blame should probably be placed on the plot. Terribly slow in developing, this is a story of girl meets boy, girl hates boy, girl has to learn to live with boy to take care of their best friend’s orphan daughter, girl and boy finally fall in love, and after 120 minutes or so, girl ends up with boy and instant family.
This is not to say the movie doesn’t have its moments, it does. There is plenty of humor and Heigl and Duhamel have good chemistry. between them. The supporting cast also pitches where it can. However, I personally go to see romantic comedies to be entertain and to get away from my daily worries, I really do not need to be reminded what a martial fight sounds like, or how the occasional hopeless feeling that is part of raising kids. That said, I could also do without illicit drugs in the brownies bit, to me it’s just another sign that the writers ran out of good material.
This film is too drawn out and a bit too realistic to make for a good date movie. Other than that, why not, what else new in this genre?