CHICAGO – Is it possible to be addled in encroaching middle age? Because “Life Happens,” a film about an ex-party girl turned single mother, starring “it” girl Krysten Ritter, actually is quite funny, and gets those laughs simply by applying some simple truths to a unique situation. Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, Justin Kirk and Kirsten Johnston co-star.
Ritter, who just opened this week as the title character in the awkwardly titled sitcom “Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23,” carries this comedy on her shoulders, which she also co-wrote. She is an impressive scene stealer, but also allows the very strong supporting cast to get their moments. The script relies on some time honored stereotypes – twentysomething virgin, chirpy Mom, horny social misfit, dismissive boss – and turns them on their ear by leading them into unexpected directions. All of the actions of the films evolve from well-established background circumstances, and by the end the laughs come just from the preconceived missteps of the well-developed characters.
Kim (Krysten Ritter), Deena (Kate Bosworth) and Laura (Rachel Bilson) are young adult roommates in a Los Angeles bungalow. The film frantically starts out with Kim and Deena fighting over the last condom in the house, as they both have potential mates in their bedrooms (Laura doesn’t participate, she has promised herself to remain a virgin until marriage). Deena wins the rubber competition, and one year later it is discovered that Kim has a newborn boy resulting from that night. The father, an Australian surfer, decides he’s not ready to be a Dad, and leaves Kim to raise their son.
This throws the household into a tizzy, as three young women aren’t exactly equipped to deal with child rearing. Kim misses her old life, Deena is a struggling writer and Laura continues to grab any odd job the City of Angels offers. This allows Kim no social life beyond caring for her boss Francesca (Kristen Johnston), but things are about to change when she meets Nicholas (Geoff Stults) at a work event. She convinces Deena to double date with Nicholas’s friend Henri (Justin Kirk), and the balance of the roommates’ friendship is about to shift as a result.
Photo credit: PMK*BNC Films