LIFE AS WE KNOW IT (2010)

TMG Scale 7.0
Starring Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas

There is lots of  joshing around (pun intended) in the this film about raising a baby, but it has a story, a message and some substance.  And while not a belly laugher, it remains amusing throughout. If you have had the thrill of a baby, you will laugh a bit more.  If you are thinking about having a baby, you may nervously reconsider.

We can never be reminded enough that babies do not come with instruction manuals.  The most valuable commodity in the world is a baby and no permission or license  is required to have one.  It’s truly amazing.

Hiegl plays Holly Berenson. She and disaster of a blind date, Eric Messer (played by Duhamel) find themselves enduring each other because they are the best friends of the Novacks and their newborn, little Sophie. Life and death is often a fine line and the Novacks are killed one night in a traffic accident. Unknown to Holly and “Messser, ” the Novacks had appointed them jointly as Sophie’s guardian.  Two, baby naive,  unmarried but fun loving people who cannot stand each other find themselves being asked to raise their friend’s child—together. This was not a hard script sell in Hollywood.

The problem is this movie sells like a routine “chic flick.” Guys are reluctant because diapers and spit up humor will take precedence over guns, car chases and massive explosions (unless you include the diaper variety.) TMG was arm twisted to go. It’s hot at the box office. I have to. But I was pleasantly surprised.  Even without one quick shot of Hiegl in the buff, I found the film worthwhile. Maybe next time.

Much as the Josh’s learn in this film, babies and children do indeed change life as you know it, but it is mostly for the better.  There is never a “good time” to have children and this film takes that concept to the extreme.  You quickly learn that a baby, even if not yours, when entrusted to your care is more valuable than drinking all night, football or your even dream job. Messer symbolically covers his motorcycle when he senses the change.  Only when his motorcycle meets a worse fate does the message come full circle.

A word of caution to anyone. TMG has some decent legal and parenting experience. A guardianship is a very wise thing to set up in the rare event a couple dies and leaves minor children. As the parent, you get to decide while alive who will raise your children.  But, if you are on the receiving end of such a compliment, do NOT just readily accept the appointment as a guardian as a high form of flattery. You better ask yourself “If they really die, am I seriously willing to raise their kids?”  Most should have huge reservations. Rather than bring you and your wife together as with Josh and Holly (hardly a spoiler here) it may do just the opposite. Life as you know it will change.

TMG thinks most anyone will enjoy this film. I would compare it to Look who’s Talking Now (1993) with John Travolta and the then shapely, Kirstie Alley.  Guys might use this one as a bargaining chip with your girlfriend. Just don’t let them know you really enjoyed it.

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