Life As We Know It
If I ever write an multi-award winning album, (and by if, I mean when), I think tracks 1 through 6 will be dedicated to the tragedy of Katherine Heigl. What happened to Katherine Heigl? Knocked Up – a funny film. No, she didn’t exactly get to take the reins of the comedy horse, but certainly she got to stroke its mane and clean its hilarious teeth out. (For further exploration, see soon-to-be smash hit track 3 – “Gonna Lasso Me Some Famous”.) She became the darling of the rom-com world, with endless vaguely quirky but ultimately inoffensive characters at her feet. And then… and then. 27 Dresses, The Killers, and The Ugly Truth happened. And every time you paid to watch them, a pixie died. Now, Life As We Know It can join the jostling ranks in the army of The Slow, Almost Imperceptible Destruction Of All That Is Good. Just think of those glistening pixie tears. That was you. You did that.
So. Let’s begin our descent into the beige caves of excruciating mediocrity. Katherine Heigl (by now, I think we can all agree she doesn’t actually have different characters so much as varying fringe lengths), is Woman With A Smart Car – which is, we are assured, the transportation equivalent of a clenched but well-kept vagina. After being set up with Guy With Motorbike (you see how already, their differences are helpfully clarified?), they decide that despite their best friends being married, there’s no WAY Jose that they’re ever going to get on. Hell no. No, really. Nothing could happen that would mean they’d end up falling in love. Seriously though, nothing. Ha. What an idea.
Anyway, so their best friends die horribly and suddenly – don’t worry, the utterly overwhelming grief only lasts a couple of minutes and it’s sent off with a super-awesome high-five with some jokes about fat neighbours – and suddenly, Smart-Woman and Motor-Man are left with Sophie, their best friends’ baby. Are they supposed to raise her together? But how can it possible work? She loves charts! He loves that sport with the men in it! She pats down the cushions! He just has SEX all over the cushions. I just don’t know what the next hour and a half has in store for me. But I know that babies are funny when they make silly faces. Look it its face! Look at its little face. This is brilliant.
Script-by-number, dull casting and bone-crumbling predictability aside, what actually makes watching Life As We Know It so painful is that, deep in my soul, I still hold out hope for Katherine Heigl. Every now and again, there’s the odd ad-lib, the odd little aside, the occasional genius movement that jolts me back from my cinematic coma and I think ‘Dear God! This woman can be humorous!’ Like that brief second when a scientologist gets water poured down his back, the mists of banal ineptitude suddenly clear and for a shining moment, you can see angry human potential within. Please, Katherine Heigl, don’t make me suffer like this. Life As We Know It is as shallow and poisonous as you knew it would be, and everyone – from the cast, to the crew, to the criminals peddling its knock off DVDs – deserve better. Please. How many more pixies must die in vain?