Hollie and Messer, set-up by best friends Allison and Peter, meet, share a disaster of a non-date and develop an intense hatred for each other. Then Allison and Peter get married and have a baby, forcing Hollie and Messer to be subjected to each other often. Glimpses of Hollie and Messer and their interaction flash on the screen as this relationship that ties them together unfolds. Finally, a laughing moment is shared at Baby Sophie's 1st birthday party where a picture is taken with "Godparents," Hollie and Messer, who don't understand exactly what that term means.
Fast forward several weeks and Hollie and Messer meet up at the police station to discover that Allison and Peter have died in a horrific accident and that Sophie needs them. They discover how much as the rest of the story unfolds.
I really liked this film. I watched it with four friends and we all agreed that it was worth the investment. The main characters are three-dimensional and well-cast. Though not laugh out-loud funny in most scenes, there is enough humor thrown in to make the subject matter less intense. Not pure comedy, or drama, also not pure chick flick. Enough deep issues and emotions play out that the movie grabbed my emotions and heart.
A few cheesy moments make their way into the movie...one in particular is a drug thread that ends up falling flat, though it likely supposed to play as a light-hearted moment. There are a group of neighbors that add annoyingly funny moments throughout the film. Language is minimal, the F-Bomb makes few appearances, the most memorable is a whispered fight. Messer is a new-girl-a-night kind of a guy so there are plenty of comments about his tom-catting ways, though the sex scenes are minimal and primarily off-screen. Hollie is an uptight business owner who's rigidity makes for a few annoying minutes throughout the film as well. But overall the relationship between them ends up being respectful of families and love and this one will end up in my DVD library.
From my wife Sarah: From the previews I expected a silly slapstick romance, but found that this was a drama, romance and comedy rolled up into one movie. It had surprising depth, character and story development. It was kind of a believable story. There were times I was touched enough to be tearful, and there was some decent chemistry between the leads. There were some laughs as well.
It was good, but was it fantastic? Not so much. Honestly, it wasn't strong enough for me as either a comedy, romance or drama to be terrific. Regardless, it was entertaining, moving and worth seeing.
on October 26, 2010
At first I watched it because of the casts. But as the movie flows, I really think it has some depths in it. Not just some other romantic/comedy, this one we can actually relate to (and finally for once no sexual context, well just a little maybe. Which I find it refreshing). How new parents are behaving and adapt with their first child, is sometimes funny to watch but also heartfelt. Overall, this movie has some laughs, tears, and of course love. Can't wait for the DVD to come out!
on October 29, 2011
Okay, I'm a guy, and I normally don't like romantic comedy as a genre - not BECAUSE I'm a guy - but because as far as the genre goes, these sorts of movies tend to be
2) Too "silly" for their own good
3) The characters tend to act in a vacuum of selfishness & self-interest beyond all probability and believability
This movie is very different. It's really more of a "Romantic Dramidy".
I love this movie because for once, it puts ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and asks them, "would you guys love each other IF..." And that's really what sets this movie apart, is the "if". Sure, it starts out formulaic enough, i.e. guy & girl hate each other's guts at first, but when you throw a baby into the mix, suddenly the stakes are raised and the movie addresses what (in my humble opinion) TRUE love is really all about: living and loving for someone else!
All too often, characters struggle to find their soulmate, for the one person to "complete" them, etc. - but their motivations are usually purely for themselves if you think about it. This movie chronicles the characters' journeys in the context of having to raise a child together, proving that love can grow OUT OF something that doesn't originate from a place of "chemistry".
With this story line, any scene that would otherwise seem too "silly" for its own good, here - seems entirely plausible given the humanity of the plot. And I didn't expect what happens in the last act of the movie, which kept me rooting for the main characters. There are some subtle acting moments that are quite poignant and bittersweet.
Overall, this movie is better than what the advertisements suggested when it first came out in the theaters. Just understand that it's equal parts funny, romantic, and family drama.
on February 7, 2011
This movie has received more than its fair share of bad press. I went and saw this movie when it was in my local theater last summer. I think the major reason people are giving it bad reviews is that they are expecting the whole movie to consist of a mismatched couples attempt to raise a child to yield roll on the floor laughing moments. However, to truely understand this film, you have to look deep for the hidden meaning. I found that when you discover that the movie truly revolves around a child who's parents are killed and is left to be raised by two different people who really didn't want to be together, much less raise a child together, then you get the true spirit of the film. Once you understand this point of view you will truly enjoy this film for what it is, a coming of age story.
on December 8, 2012
There are loads of well written and detailed reviews, so I won't bother repeating them. This movie is a typical romantic comedy but the acting and the directing/cinematography took it to a new level. It is well paced and the shots and lighting are so well done that this film is quite pretty to watch. But the real reason that you will want to watch this movie more than once is the acting of Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. So many times in romantic comedies the acting falls short and the movie drags on seemingly forever. That is definitely not the case here. Katherine Heigl makes highly improbable situations believable and Josh Duhamel does a yeoman's job keeping up with her. There are laugh-out-loud moments as well as teary-eyed scenes. This movie is a joy to watch and now has a place in my 'keeper' DVD collection of movies I will definitely watch again!
on April 12, 2013
It is a wonderful change to review a movie I really like. Most of what I see are ovies that make you wonder why they were ever made: bratuitous sex, excessive violence that adds nothing to the story, terrible script and characterization and attrocious acting. If like me you no longer watch television because you can't stand the advertisements, you will suffer for the first ten minutes the disk plays. Live with it an denjoy the show when it eventually comes on.
I am no authority on the thesbian arts, but this seems very well acted. Special effects are minimal (I saw no evidence of any) which may turn you off. Basic story is this: a young couple with an infant daughter make out wills in which they state in the event of both parents dying ast one, the guardianship of the child is to be split between a male and female friend neither of whom is married. The parents die, guardianship goes to this couple who don't like each other much, and the story unfolds from there. Humor plays a good part in this film. Not slapstick or late night type but just good fun. I ordered this movie for a lady I know and decided to screen it before giving it to her. Another copy has been ordered for her. Copies have been ordered for a friend about to have a child and another who is a single mother of a young child.
If you like films that express real humor, human feelings and a good story, buy, rent or steal this movie. You will probably like it.
on October 4, 2014
This is a delightful movie.
A man and a woman who met on a blind-date-from-hell, who tolerated each other for the sake of their best friends who got married so near the beginning of the movie, I tend to think of that marriage as being before the movie started.
Two years later, our tolerable friends find themselves parents of their best-friends' child, so they learn to more than tolerate each other. They learn, over time, to get along together, to work for the best interests of their daughter.
I hate to say it, but one of my favorite scenes is when we see the tweenage babysitter trying to hide her admiration for the baby's new father. Looking back on when I was married, 30 years ago, I can think of two tweenaged friends of my stepdaughter who seemed to find excuses to be near me at odd times. Back then, i didn't realize what those young ladies might have been trying to non-verbally express to me, but now, I'm careful not to allow myself to even be in a position where something like that could occur.
Also very familiar to me is the twisting and turning that a couple must make in their planning. How many of us wanted to push our responsibilities off on our spouse when we felt that what we needed to do was more important that what our spouse needed to do? Yes, in some cases, it is obvious that both partners had equally important tasks, but we all must learn to compromise.
I originally saw this a couple of years ago when some friends played it one weekend. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to watch it again when I got a free 24-hour-rental from Amazon, and I will be able to watch it again later, because I got the free rental with my purchase of the DVD.
This is a very enjoyable movie. So far, I have watched this movie four times, and I look forward to watching it again later.
I highly recommend this move to you.
on December 29, 2013
Well I love this movie the beginning always makes me cry because I think about my Autistic son and wonders what will happen to him in the event of my untimely demise. I have a friend who will gladly take him in but the question would be will I have all the money to cover his expenses for all his needs? I found out it was filmed in Atlanta, cool, that is something I did not know, I love the city but, also loved the movie, Katherine Heigl is something else she is a great actress from Valentine's Day, to One for the money, and knocked up and this one. I love her movies and Josh with his fine self, mmmm mmmm good! Great eye candy and chemistry on set.
LIFE AS WE KNOW IT manipulates you like a marionette, tugs at your heartstrings, tries to melt your heart with a bombardment of cute baby. It gets away with it because of the two good leads and because the screenplay draws a nice balance between comedy and melodrama, and because the baby really is freakin' adorable. LIFE AS WE KNOW IT has Katherine Heigl once again playing one of those fussy, career-oriented, yet vulnerable roles she so excels in. This time her character is Holly Berensen, an up-and-coming caterer. Josh Duhamel stretches his range from playing G.I. Joe on TRANSFORMERS to a fun-loving, laid back network sports director named Eric Messer (but no one calls him "Eric"). The story kicks off with Holly and Messer set up on a blind date by mutual friends, and the date is a horrible, utter disaster. A colossal dating no-no: arranging for a booty call later that night when your current date is in the same car with you. Holly and Messer quickly part company, quite disenchanted.
So imagine their alarm when those same friends who set them up die in a car accident and Holly and Eric find themselves the legal guardians of a suddenly orphaned baby girl named Sophie. Can these two very different souls put aside their mutual dislike and their warring agendas to make a home for Sophie? Well, no, they really can't. They adore the kid. But they can't stand each other. In the parlance of cinema, there's no better recipe for romance.
For the common denominator crowd, there are the baby poopy gags and the smoking the extracurricular stuff. We get the expected hijinks revolving around our couple's attempts to juggle careers and social obligations with their parenting of Sophie. Except that the screenplay delivers enough depth and serious moments to offset the silly. It restrains itself enough. To be honest, there's nothing here that you haven't seen before. But the performances carry you through. Heigl and Duhamel work really well together. The inevitable love story pays off when it suprisingly takes an honest, emotional turn down the road. And you have to appreciate the neat little touches brought about by a supporting cast which features odd neighbors, a teen (pre-teen?) baby whisperer, and a social worker who develops a case of slow burn hysterics. Josh Lucas also shows up as a hunky pediatrician, not that anyone feels threatened. LIFE AS WE KNOW IT is a romantic comedy as we know it. And, I guess, sometimes, there's comfort in familiarity, if the execution is right, if the two leads are compatible, if the baby is all kinds of huggable. Aw, cripes, I'm a sap.