New on DVD/Blu-ray: Life as We Know It (2010)

As a movie genre, romcoms are like comfy pairs of shoes. They’re almost always predictable, and the best you can hope for is that the actors are charming, the characters likable, and there are enough laughs from the usual group of wacky sidekick characters to make things interesting. A little bit of believable romance between the two Hollywood movie star pretty leads would also be a plus. Fortunately “Life as we Know it” has all of those things, and the film now arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download February 8, 2011 from Warner Home Video.

After a disastrous first date for caterer Holly (Katherine Heigl) and network sports director Messer (Josh Duhamel), all they have is common is a dislike for each other and their love for their goddaughter Sophie. But when they suddenly become all Sophie has in this world, Holly and Messer must set their differences aside. Juggling careers and social calendars, they’ll have to find common ground while living under the same roof. Josh Lucas, Christina Hendricks, Hayes MacArthur and Jean Smart co-star in this tart and tender romantic comedy directed by Greg Berlanti (Brothers & Sisters, Everwood).

Movie Review:

“Life as we Know it” begins predictably enough: three years ago, newly singled Holly (Katherine Heigl), an uptight, small business owner is set up on a blind date with disheveled, devil-may-care player Eric (Josh Duhamel). The date goes expectedly awry, and the two never make it away from her curbside before they decide they hate each other’s guts. Unfortunately for them, they were both set up on the date by their mutual best friends, couple Peter and Alison (Hayes MacArthur and “Mad Men’s” Christina Hendricks), which means saying goodbye to each other for good is not exactly in the cards.

Fast-forward to a few years later, and Peter and Alison are now married with a young daughter named Sophie. Through the years, Holly and Eric have continued their mutual love-hate (with emphasis on the hate) relationship. That is, until Peter and Alison die in a car accident, leaving the couple’s young daughter in the bickering pair’s hands. Hilarity, as they say, ensue.

You can probably guess all the plot beats of a film like “Life as we Know it”, and so can I. But I was still surprised by how earnest and ultimately endearing the film proved to be. Holly and Eric are both likable enough as individual characters, and you come to care about them as they struggle to raise young Sophie without, well, any real proper guidance. An assorted group of wacky neighbors take the place of best friend sidekick characters, though they are mostly relegated to appearing intermittently throughout the movie. In a funny aside, Eric is ogled like a piece of meat by all the neighbors, including the token gay couple.

Much of the film is spent with Eric and Holly as they struggle to come to terms with having young Sophie in their lives, and the two’s eventual warming up to one another. Duhamel is very good as the boyish rogue who learns to mature, while Heigl, well, she’s essentially playing the role that Katherine Heigl always plays in these type of movies, which is to say, the girl’s got the genre cornered in a vise-like death grip, that’s for sure.

There are some good laughs to be had in “Life as we Know it”, and director Greg Berlanti certainly delivers a surprisingly heartfelt movie. Do I wish it was less predictable? Oh sure, but that would be like saying romcoms should stop, you know, being romcoms.

Blu-ray Combo Pack Special Features:

  • A Survival Guide to Instant Parenting
  • Katherine Heigl: Becoming the Best Mom Ever
  • Josh Duhamel: The Triplet Tamer
  • Additional Scenes

Buy “Life as We Know it” on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download February 8, 2011 from Warner Home Video.