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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #550 (Vol. 11, No. 41). This edition is for the week of October 4--10, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Life As We Know It"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Life As We Know It"  by Mike Smith
The Works of John Randal McDonald, Part Three -- Long Overdue Recognition  by William Moriaty
Friday the 13th: 30th Anniversary  by ED Tucker
Sisters of Gion (1936)  by Jason Fetters
Passing On .... Greg's Back .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith

Warner Brothers     
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel and Josh Lucas
Directed by: Greg Berlanti
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 52 mins

If you’ve seen the previews for “Life As We Know It,” you pretty much know the plot line. Young couple with baby die tragically, willing their two best friends, who can’t stand each other, to care for said baby. Knowing this much going into the film I was pretty sure I was going to see a standard “odd-couple thrown together fall in love” film. Thankfully I was very surprised by the time “Life As We Know It” ended.

2007. Holly (Heigl) is getting ready for a blind date, set up by her friends Alison and Peter (Christina Hendricks and Hayes MacArthur). Messer (Duhamel) obviously doesn’t do well with blind dates. Arriving an hour late and in jeans and a trucker’s cap (Holly is dressed for a restaurant that doesn’t use plastic cutlery), he obviously has no interest in Holly. They go their separate dating ways: Messer concentrating on young hotties while Holly has eyes for a local doctor (Lucas) that frequents her gourmet bakery. As the years pass, Alison and Peter get married, the event, and others, forcing Holly and Messer to be in the same room together. But the two opposites have one thing in common: they are both crazy over Sophie (played by Alexis, Brynn and Brooke Clagett), Alison and Peter’s new baby girl. Sadly, the young marrieds are killed in a car accident. Holly and Messer are informed that they have been chosen to raise Sophie. Putting their differences aside the two move into Alison and Peter’s home (arranged by their attorney) and set out on a journey that neither planned to take.

Thanks to fine performances, and a story that is not predictable, “Life As We Know It” turns out to be a well crafted comedy. Heigl continues to make the successful jump from television to film and does a fine job with both the humorous and more dramatic scenes her role calls for. Duhamel, also a television vet (“Vegas”) and part of the “Transformers” film series, also acquits himself well. First time screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson have constructed a storyline that doesn’t telegraph “what happens next” every few minutes. Berlanti, creator and main writer on the television series “Everwood” (and one of the writers for next year’s “Green Lantern”), has a knack for pacing and the film flows smoothly without any stumbles. The only character that seems forced is that of Lucas’ doctor, whose main reason for being is never fully revealed. However, how often do you get a movie where two of the stars are both named Josh? Imagine if Josh Brolin and Josh Hartnett joined these two on screen. It would be a virtual Josh-a-thon. And, yes, little Sophie is cute as a bug!

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Life As We Know It”  

To comment on this or any other PCR article, please visit The Message Board. This week's movie review of "Life As We Know It" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.