Warner Bros. | 2010 | 114 mins. | PG-13

Why is it that when actors experience success on television, they suddenly decide their too big for the medium? I mean, what’s wrong with making movies during the summer hiatus? The landscape is littered with prime time stars that left successful series, only to find failure at the box office. David Caruso and Shelley Long spring to mind both of whom came back to television and experienced varying degrees of success. I bring this up, because I recently watched Life As We Know It, starring Katherine Heigl who left behind a lucrative gig on Grey’s Anatomy for a shot at movie stardom. So far, results are mixed…

Life As We Know ItHolly (Heigl) is the intense owner of a small bakery. Messer (Josh Duhamel) is an irresponsible, womanizing television sports director. They don’t get along at all. In fact, a fact a first date ends before it begins. However, their devotion to their soon-to-be-married mutual friends, Peter and Alison (Hayes MacArthur and Christina Hendricks), makes it difficult to avoid each other. A few years later, Peter and Alison have a newborn named Sophie, Holly and Messer still despise each other and life good. Suddenly, tragedy strikes. Peter and Alison are killed in a car accident and Sophie becomes an orphan overnight. Until, that is, a lawyer gives Holly and Messer of some shocking news: in their will, Peter and Alison designated Holly and Messer to be Sophie’s legal guardians.

The twosome had no idea they were chosen as Sophie’s guardians. It’s never explained why the couple left their youngster to two people who hate each other. Naturally, the first half of the film has Holly and Messer trying to care for Sophie while learning to live with each other. While this could happen in rare instances, I doubt most couples would leave their offspring and home to two such unsettled people. No matter, this is the story director Greg Berlanti and screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson have set up.

I’m guessing most of you can guess what evolves in the second half of the film. Yes, Life As We Know It is utterly predictable. Katherine Heigl plays the same cute, smart girl she seems to play every time out, and Josh Duhamel, well he mails it in as well. Life As We Know It brings nothing new to the rom-com formula. Worse yet, the filmmakers set up a scenario that is so unbelievable that it’s hard to engage yourself in the story. I would rent this one before buying it.

The AVC encoded 2.35:1 aspect ratio image features overly saturated colors that tend to bleed, while skintones are accelerated, making everyone look somewhat burnt. There are ghosting issues throughout. Detail is acceptable, however, shadow detail is muddy ;smudging up evening and low-light textures.

The 5.1 DTS-HD sound mix is a bit thin, while scoring cues are less powerful than one might like. Dialogue is crisp and full. All exposition remains free of clutter, blended well with the elements. Atmospherics are fairly solid.

We get the following special features:

A Survival Guide to Instant Parenting (7:12) interviews cast and crew for their thoughts on the world of raising children.

Katherine Heigl: Becoming the Best Mom Ever (5:56) celebrates the talents of the actress, with interviews extolling the virtues of her work ethic. Heigl’s own foray into parenthood is also covered.

Josh Duhamel: Triplet Tamer (5:16) is more about the child stars than the big one, displaying the trust built between the actors as the film was shot.

Deleted Scenes (14:42) collects several pieces of character development and parental concern, but the major additions cover Messer’s conquests in the house, the addition of a nose-picking character, a cameo by Steve Nash, and video birthday card from the supporting cast.

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