Life as We Know It
If you’re going to do a hybrid of romcom and baby-raising comedy that depends upon orphaning a child in the first reel so that she must be raised by mismatched single godparents whose mutual detestation will of course give way to love, how do you handle the killing off of the parents? That’s one of the questions I was mulling as the lights dimmed for this unfortunate mess. At least that gave me something to watch for. Otherwise, the opening—a date gone awry between adorable but uptight (surprise!) bakery owner Holly (Heigl) and hunky, devil-may-care pussy-hound Eric (Duhamel)—would have left me nothing to contemplate beyond possible excuses for leaving the theater.
And then, once the parents had been disposed of (car crash, by the way, conveyed through phone calls of which we hear only Holly’s end as Heigl reacts her actorly ass off), came the poop jokes, as inevitable in a baby comedy as the heavy-handed comic scoring that signals “Something funny is coming…wait for it…there it is…laugh, monkeys, laugh.” Heigl looks frazzled. Duhamel takes off his shirt. They fight. The baby does adorable things. They fall in love. They fight some more. The baby does more adorable things. They reconcile. Call me an old curmudgeon, but long before the end credits, I was rooting for another car crash to kill off a couple of insufferable godparents.