In Life as We Know It
, Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel discover that their closest friends have appointed them guardians of their child in the unlikely event of their joint death--an unlikely event that has just happened. Make no mistake: There's no reason this movie should have been any good. The premise is the worst kind of formulaic Hollywood claptrap; the pleasant but cautious Heigl (Knocked Up
) is playing yet another uptight fussbudget; since a promising movie debut in the underrated Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
, Duhamel has largely coasted on his looks in tripe like the Transformers
movies--yet Life as We Know It
is surprisingly likable. After the movie gets through the basic exposition--and navigates some radical shifts in tone with unexpected deftness--the script somehow manages to make its clichés into something resembling real human situations. The colorful supporting characters are all entertainingly written and well played by a solid cast. And both Heigl and Duhamel give understated, engaging performances that manage to make the inevitable conclusion seem almost not inevitable. Director Greg Berlanti (The Broken Hearts Club
) deserves kudos for skillfully balancing humor and pathos and turning this unpromising material into a sincere and enjoyable movie. --Bret Fetzer
Comedy drama starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. Holly (Heigl), a budding caterer, and Eric (Duhamel), a sports director, find themselves the guardians of Sophie (Alexis and Brooke Clagett), the daughter of their best friends who have died in a car crash. Holly and Eric, who are both single, are often in disagreement with one another, but they must find a way to get along for Sophie's sake. With Sophie's upbringing their main concern, Holly and Eric slowly realise that they are becoming a family, despite their difficulties.