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Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010 01:59 pm

Life an unexpected delight

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Katherine Heigl stars as Holly Berenson and Josh Duhamel stars as Eric Messer in Life as We Know It.

I have to admit, I was dreading Life as We Know It. The last thing I wanted to sit through was another simple-minded romantic comedy where opposites meet cute and eventually learn to love each other after a series of misadventures. Turns out, the ad campaign for the film doesn’t do it justice as Life proves to be an entertaining, humorous and smart look at what it takes to be a parent.

Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Messer (Josh Duhamel) are thrown together when their mutual best friends die and they find out they were named godparents to their infant daughter Sophie. Finances and a bit of desperation force them to live together in order to raise the girl and it takes more than a while for them to get used to each other’s quirks. Along the way, they each realize that certain sacrifices must be made in the best interest of their young charge.

Yeah, I know, this is a lame, predictable setup. However, writers Ian Deitchman and Kristin Robinson throw us a few curveballs and the film doesn’t go down the path you’d expect. Heigl and Duhamel have an unexpected sense of chemistry that helps the film glide over its rough patches and their genuine interactions with their young co-star, especially when Messer and Sophie go shopping for baby food, provide a sincere center that holds in what could otherwise be a by-the-numbers rom-com. While the supporting characters, with the exception of a charming pediatrician played by Josh Lucas, are broad stereotypes, Holly and Messer are given the proper heft so that we come to care for them. Better than you think, Life is an unexpected delight as it wisely opts to move its audience rather than insult it.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.

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