When walking into a romantic comedy, there is a basic narrative you can expect: boy meets pretty girl, a bunch of stuff in between, and the eventual union of the two. Life As We Know It, however, doesn’t follow this classic romantic comedy formula
Holly (Katherine Heigl) is an up-tight single girl consumed with her bakery/catering business, who is set up on a blind date with Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), a sports network director. The date does not get very far after Duhamel’s character introduces himself as “Messer,” and upon entering Holly’s Smart car, the two decide that their friends were completely wrong to set them up.
The movie proceeds happily as their mutual friends get married and have a baby girl named Sophie. The parents name Messer and Holly as Sophie’s godparents, setting up the main plot of the movie. When Sophie’s parents die in a tragic car accident, Holly and Messer are left with the task of raising a newborn baby, turning their happy-go-lucky single lives into what is essentially being married with a kid.
This is where the movie starts to get interesting. Although the conclusion of the film is very predictable, Life As We Know It had me guessing just how these two characters, who pretty much despised each other from the first scene of the movie, would end up together in the end and live happily ever after.
Initially, the two are definitely unready to raise Sophie. As Messer explains in one scene, “I always wear the condom, but somehow, I ended up with a baby.” Hilarity ensues, including a lot of mushy and smelly things that end up on Holly’s face.
The film is a rollercoaster of happy, sad, and funny, but Heigl handles the role quite well. We have seen her dramatic chops on Grey’s Anatomy, and she has definitely proven that she can carry a comedy as well (with films like Knocked Up and several other rom-coms). I wasn’t so sure about Duhamel on the other hand whose last film, When in Rome, was pretty terrible, and a complete flop at the box office. It turns out the two have pretty good chemistry, and from early on in the movie, you really want them to end up together.
The secondary characters who find their way into Holly and Messer’s lives add much of the film’s hilarious moments. The neighbors on their street (including Melissa McCarthy) bring a lot of laughs, as does preteen babysitter Amy.
Life As We Know It was a very enjoyable romantic comedy, and believe it or not, you cannot predict the in-between details that make this hilarious and sentimental flick sure to be a box office success.