Sunday, February 13, 2011

Film Yap: Life As We Know It

I HATE THESE CHARACTERS SO MUCH. This is just outrageous. These people all work so hard to be unbearable. It almost feels like a trick where Lars von Trier made the most conventional romantic comedy equipped with every cliché in the book. Then he releases it just to see if people would still watch a film about horrible people. Touché von Trier, this made over $50 million.

Almost everyone knows this stupid plot by now. A nice married couple dies in a car accident. In their will they decided to leave their one-year old daughter in the hands of two of their friends who hate each other. This is what normal people do. The two hateful people are Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel playing the exact same characters they’ve been doing for five years.

What? They asked us to take care of the baby? Why does that make sense? But we hate each other! Look at our insulting banter that falls flat! We don’t know how to take care of a baby! Want proof? Here’s a billion montages of WACKY baby things like changing diapers and watching The Wiggles.

This might seems like this will be about two irritating people learning how to be more compassionate while they see there is more important people than themselves as they care for an orphaned child. Of course not! This is about whether or not they will fall in love. Spoiler: they fall in love. This movie is as much about the baby as When in Rome is about Rome.

Everyone in their life is more interested in their relationship than the defenseless child. The lawyer wants them to live together. The judge doesn’t ask any questions about whether or not they can take care of a baby. The doctor nothing for the baby, but tells Heigl to take some time off. The child services social worker in her three unscheduled visits only talks about whether or not Heigl and Duhamel are having sex. Nothing about the baby.

The insanity continues into the “comedic set-pieces” which is film terms for “the scenes between the million montages.” This scene actually happened. Heigl has been planning some cooking thing and Duhamel got his big break to direct a basketball game. (Of course she’s involved with food and he’s involved with sports. Let’s not get crazy here.) Mysteriously none of the neighbors or babysitters could watch the kid. So Duhamel tries to keep the meter running in a cab for the entire game and leave the baby in the backseat. The cab driver gets upset and they all hang out in the control booth while the baby cries so loud the technical directors can not hear what to do. Nobody is fired or arrested.

Clichés are flung everywhere and it really stops mattering. Homosexuality is only there as a punchline (twice). She wants to build to her apparently successful business. He’s a “ladies man” who constantly has sex with women despite being insanely annoying. She honestly races to the airport at one point in the movie. Not even the random selection of comedians as secondary characters save this film because there’s no time in the montages and elaborate parties for them to make up jokes. This is especially not fair because Rob Hubel and Andrew Daly are two of the funniest people alive right now.

Most romantic comedies are vain. That’s fine. It’s telling a story of a personal relationship; this happens. However this movie is so focused to the point of narcissism on two characters that are horrible and boring individuals who end up being horrible parents. Yeah!

The extras are full of those incredible fake featurettes where the leads teach you about parenting. This film will convince you not to believe them. There are also deleted scenes because someone thought this movie shouldn’t be over two hours. I love them.

Film: 1 Yap

Extras: 1 Yap

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