Blu-ray
A Rental at Best
2.5 stars
Amazon
$9.99
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Overall Grade
2.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
2.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
3.5 Stars
HD Audio Quality
4 Stars
Supplements
0.5 Stars
High-Def Extras
0.5 Stars
Bottom Line
A Rental at Best

Life as We Know It

Street Date:
February 8th, 2011
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
February 1st, 2011
Movie Release Year:
2010
Studio:
Warner Brothers
Length:
114 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

'Life as We Know It'…is over. At least that's what happens to Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Messer (Josh Duhamel) when their recently deceased friends leave them a kid. I'm pretty sure this is the most outrageous request from a dead person since Brewster's uncle told him to spend $30 million in 30 days in order to inherit $300 million.

Strange requests in a dead person's will always make for fun shenanigans in the movies. Here, Holly and Messer are single people who have jobs and apartments. Their best friends were Allison and Peter. After a tragic car accident Allison and Peter's child, Sophie, is left an orphan. Holly and Messer are soon informed that Allison and Peter had named them legal guardians. Because nothing says friendship like pawning off your kid on your best friends without letting them know. Oh, and did I mention that Holly and Messer hate each other? Wow, this is just ripe for comedic gold, right?

Now Messer and Holly must get along for the good of the baby, and just so things could get even more bizarre, Allison and Peter also left their house to Holly and Messer so Sophie could grow up in her own home. If you're keeping track that means not only have these two people been left a child, they've also been left a house, which they both have to move into, because the will says so, and in a movie adhering to a will is tantamount to common sense.

They move in together and we all know what's going to happen. The first chance they get they're at each other's throats. Plenty of montages whip by as time passes and the two of them become more and more comfortable in their situation.

'Life as We Know It' follows the tired rom-com formula. The first act features a seemingly insurmountable task that the two leads must overcome. The second act shows how the two who once loathed each other are now, gasp falling for each other (totally didn't see that coming). The third act features the fight and makeup.

This movie is dreadfully clichéd in every single way. From the way the characters act to the way the story plays out. We know exactly what's going to happen and when it's going to happen. Even when the movie tries to put its own spin on the dramatic race to the airport scene (yes there's one of those in here), we know exactly how it's all going to play out.

I must admit I chuckled a few times, but the majority of this movie is painfully predictable, and utterly ridiculous. Its premise holds less water than one of Sophie's diapers. Who would do this to their friends without consulting them first? Who would trust the care of their child to two single people who hate each other? I understand that it makes for a mildly interesting movie plot on paper, but a situation like this should never, ever happen.

The Disc: Vital Stats

'Life as We Know It' comes to Blu-ray on a 50GB Blu-ray Disc. It also comes complete with a DVD Digital Copy.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

I'm not sure why, but 'Life as We Know It' seems to have been shot with a diffuse filter on the entire time. Bright whites and lights give off a soft halo, which is no doubt a directorial choice, but I can't fathom exactly why it was even used on this movie. Probably safe to assume Katherine Heigl demanded it.

The rest of the 1080p AVC encoded presentation is your standard rom-com/unexpected-and-tragic-death/orphan-comedy fare. Primary colors are slightly oversaturated adding to a very warm and inviting color palette. Faces tend toward orange on the color scale due to the slightly higher temperature of the movie itself. A faint layer of grain covers the picture adding that familiar filmic look.

The transfer is clean and free of any defects or other flubs that may detract from viewing pleasure. I didn't notice any noise or aliasing. There are some very minor scenes that involve slight crushing, but it isn't anything to worry about at all. There was also a short instance of banding near the beginning, but I didn't see it ever rear its ugly head again. Fine detail, facial and textures, is decent enough but with the diffuse being used it's never up to optimum levels. Much of the fine detail is obscured by the softer focus photography.

This is exactly the kind of presentation we've come to expect from rom-com/unexpected-and-tragic-death/orphan-comedies on Blu-ray. The orange faces are what really drive me up the wall, but it isn't anything new with these over saturated warm color palettes. Fans of the movie will be happy with this one and in the end that's all that matters.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

For a run of the mill rom-com/unexpected-and-tragic-death/orphan-comedy, the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is surprisingly engaging. Even though this thing won't rattle the walls of your house, it still delivers a lively mix of sound that will keep you interested in the movie.

Dialogue is wonderfully positioned in the center and front channels. It comes across clear and intelligible the entire film without a word getting lost in the mix. LFE isn't really needed here, but there are a few moments where the score calls for it. When it's asked to perform, surprisingly weighty bass is produced.

Rears are also active, during the more crowded scenes like busy airports or a neighborhood block party. Directionality works with ease as the cries from a baby off screen are channeled perfectly through the side speakers. While this sound mix may not be demo material, it's still one that is unexpectedly delivers the goods.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 15 min.) — Not much to mention here. Just a few scenes (around 13 or so) that were cut from the movie with good reason.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

  • A Survival Guide to Instant Parenting (HD, 7 min.) — A promo piece where the cast and crew share their advice as parents.

  • Becoming the Best Mom Ever (HD, 6 min.) — A short featurette about Heigl working at becoming a credible mother who was just thrust into the situation.

  • The Triplet Tamer (HD, 5 min.) — Co-star Josh Duhamel discusses what it was like working with the triplets that played little Sophie in the movie.

Final Thoughts

I guess to like this movie you have to completely buy into its phony-baloney premise that two single people could be coerced by someone's will to live together and take care of a kid. Sorry, that's not happening in the real world. However, if you do buy the whole premise then this is a decent rom-com with a few laughs here and there and the sappy, all-too-predictable ending that rom-com junkies feed on. The video is slightly above average and the audio provides a unexpected surprise. The special features are very promo-like, but that's pretty much to be expected. This one comes as a rental recommendation if you're really dying to see it. My guess is after watching it once that will be enough.

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 2.35:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • French Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French, Spanish

Supplements

  • Additional scenes

Exclusive HD Content

  • A Survival Guide to Instant Parenting: cast members offer outrageously funny child-rearing advice that would make the PTA cringe
  • Kathering Heigl: Becoming the Best Mom Ever: see all the touching, funny and challenging moments Katherine faced in becoming an overnight mom
  • Josh Duhamel: the Triplet Tamer: Josh gets sentimental and brims with charm as he wins the admiration of this three "little" leading ladies

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