Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
|Featuring:||Katherine Heigl (Holly Berenson), Josh Duhamel (Eric Messer), Josh Lucas (Sam), Christina Hendricks (Alison Novack), Alexis Clagett (Sophie), Brynn Clagett (Sophie), Brooke Clagett (Sophie), Hayes MacArthur (Peter Novak), more »|
|Producer:||Josephson Entertainment, Gold Circle Films, Village Roadshow Pictures, Paul Brooks, Denise Di Novi, Alicia Gelernt, Joe Hartwick Jr., Katherine Heigl, more »|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“A comedy about taking it one step at a time”
After a disastrous blind date which ended before the car even started, Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) cannot stand each other. Their only shared link is that their best friends are married and have a little girl named Sophie. When their friends are tragically killed in a car wreck, Holly and Eric are named the guardians of the now orphaned toddler. Putting their differences aside, the two decide to move into their friends’ home and take on the role as Sophie’s new parents, but of course, everything doesn’t go so smoothly.
As with any movie primarily about raising a baby, there are plenty of “aw” moments to be enjoyed. At times, the dialogue is refreshingly realistic in showing the challenges from becoming sudden parents to the humorous baby accidents. Though these strengthened the film, “Life as We Know It” is also marred by several clichés and crude content.
Holly is the over planner and Messer the uncommitted womanizer; the film would weave in and out of good character displays and would then fall into the overused plot devices (a third wheel, a frantic run to the airport, etc.) From the onset and coupled with the theatrical-trailer spoilers, their falling for one other is entirely expected. While they do have their sweet moments, Holly and Messer’s characters do not have a believable progression of change since a bit too much time was focused on their flaws, bickering, and mutual joy of Sophie. Indeed, the film is about raising a child, but it also attempted to fit the romantic-comedy genre. Duhamel and Heigl share fantastic chemistry, but their alone time wasn’t always spent in true bonding.
The film has its fair amount of objectionable content. In several scenes, Messer is shown with different women in his bed and kisses others. In a video montage, he pinches Holly’s behind. Holly accuses him of making a “booty call” and sarcastically asks if his privates hold “magic”. There is a heavy amount of sexual discussion between Messer and Holly; all the neighbors lust over Messer. Two of the neighbors are revealed to be a gay couple after one confides to Messer that he and his partner stopped having sex after the birth of their daughter. Holly and Messer do sleep together. They share a passionate kiss and the subsequent scenes show them taking off their clothes and waking up in bed together. Afterwards, Holly is shown in just a shirt.
Right before the social worker’s first visit, Holly becomes very drunk. After finding their friend’s stash of marijuana, Holly bakes it into brownies, and both she and Messer get high and watch kid shows together. The profanity is around the twenty mark with 10 as* and 2 “f”. God and Jesus’ name are profaned over 10 times.
Though the movie has sweet moments, its offensive content is too heavy to ignore. Because of this, I do not personally recommend the film. When first learning of their appointed guardianship, Holly and Messer have heated discussions as to whether or not they really want to make the commitment of raising a child. This hesitation is understandable, since they did not become parents in the traditional sense, but through the tragic, unexpected deaths of their friends. The movie gives accurate glimpses of how sudden changes in one’s life can be burdensome. While mountains of stress might crush our spirits, God is ever present. Psalm 46:1-2 is a good verse to end this review with since it shows just how reliable God can be in times of trouble:
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…”
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.