CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
Film Review: ‘Life as We Know It’ is More Schlock From Katherine Heigl
CHICAGO – Since her breakthrough “comic” role in “Knocked Up,” Katherine Heigl has a line-up of titles that almost reads like parody – “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” “Killers” – but there had to be some audience or they really wouldn’t exist. She makes just enough box office to keep working, which explains the latest and maybe worst of the bunch, “Life As We Know It”
With a premise that could only happen in the absurd parallel universe of movieland, Katherine Heigl is yet again single (in real life, Heigl couldn’t get down a city block and remain single) and yet again has one of those vague high paying small businesses (muffins!) that somehow manages to give her enough time to meander through another crash-and-burn narrative.
This time her name is Holly, and the film opens she is waiting for a date (cue skin crawling). It is a set-up, because apparently she spends so much time at the Muffin Shop that no one ever notices her. The date, named Messer (Josh Duhamel) is a motorcycle riding wreck, who wastes the comic opportunity of squeezing into Holly’s tiny Smartcar by setting a booty call. Our heroine, tormented by this behavior, kicks the cad to the curb before the match-up can begin.
Except they are not done, they are too pretty to be done. The date was set up for them by their mutual best friends, Peter (Hayes MacArthur) and Allison (Christina Hendricks), happily married couple with a beautiful baby daughter named Sophie. In fact, Holly and Messer come together again on the occasion of Sophie’s first birthday, which give them an opportunity to hate one another anew.
In an oh-my-gawd-I-can’t-believe-they-did-it twist, Peter and Allison die in an automobile accident. And as it happens in so many custody cases, the couple in their will stipulates that Holly and Messer will be the guardians of Sophie. I wish I were making that up. Yep, the polar opposites set up housekeeping in the dead couple’s home (conveniently paid for in the will) and become reluctant parents. And yes, they will hate each other until they don’t.
Photo Credit: Peter Iovino for © Warner Bros. Pictures