10/8/10

Life as We Know It

Romantic comedies are a great tradition; my thanks to Jane Austen and William Shakespeare for starters....

If you've seen the trailers, you know Katherine Heigl ("27 Dresses") and Josh Duhamel ("When in Rome") suffer through one of those catastrophic blind dates and swear they will NEVER do THAT again! We follow a montage of scenes which illustrates their close bonds with two friends who marry and have a child (they were the ones who arranged that awful date), only to die in a car wreck. When the will is read, those best friends have named our stunned and grieving duo co-parents for their baby.

Duhamel plays a motorcycle-riding chick magnet who is in no hurry to grow up. Heigl is back in her familiar role as the ├╝ber-organized scold who tries to get everything under control.

Much of the fun in this delightful frolic is to watch two inexperienced adults take on the complicated business of child rearing under the watchful eye of the busybody neighbors. In reality, both Heigl and Duhamel are clearly at ease with little 'uns, and the triplets who take turns as the baby are equally relaxed. One seems to specialize in crying and the other two are charming in the sunnier episodes.

Director Greg Berlanti (lots of TV, particularly "Everwood" and "Brothers and Sisters") offers a generous helping of closeups and some unexpectedly subtle shadings in some choice scenes.

Both Heigl and Duhamel are easy on the eye and do a fine job projecting the emotional arc we expect. Plus, Duhamel in his whitey tighties is worth the price of admission!

Lots of comedy. Lots of romance. No big surprises, but certainly no letdown, either.