Main cast: Angelina Jolie (Lanie Kerigan), Edward Burns (Pete), Tony Shalhoub (Prophet Jack), Christian Kane (Cal Cooper), James Gammon (Lanie’s Father), Melissa Errico (Andrea), and Stockard Channing (Deborah Connors)
Director: Stephen Herek
Life or Something Like It is a movie or something like it. More to “something”, actually, maybe a carefully calculated movie designed to pander towards the more overemotional stereotypes writers John Scott Shepherd and Dana Stevens must perceive their (female) audience to be.
Why else is this movie jam-packed with all the tiresome plot devices of a “chick-flick” that it actually insults its target audience? Angelina Jolie tries valiantly in her role as Lanie Kerigan, a woman who should be sentenced to mandatory saloning for that… hair alone, but her entire character is written in such a way that she is always wrong until she realizes that the man is always right and she is not happy until she is a mother and a lover first, career woman second.
Lanie, on a big day assignment at the news station, isn’t happy to be paired with Keith, a camera guy who doesn’t seem to have to work more than one day a week. She and Keith had a one-nighter, okay, two-times-a-nighter, but she doesn’t like him and she is engaged to hotshot baseball player Cal Cooper now. Her assignment is a street prophet, Jack, who tells her that she will die on the following Tuesday, along with other things.
The other things happen just as Jack predicted, and now Lanie has one week to learn about life (or something like it) before she croaks.
From what I deduce from this movie, that basically means a man and a kid in your life. Lanie has a great career, but she has to realize in the end that it’s not making her happy. She needs to ditch Cal and shag up with Keith, who later dumps her because she wants to go to New York and be a big anchorwoman while he wants her to stay and take of his son. (Guess where the heroine ends up living in the end.) Stockard Channing plays the Barbara Walters icon that Lanie dreams of interviewing, and this interview, when it happens, is such an insipid overblown melodrama of too-long pauses and bad women’s soap lines (“Are you… happy? Is it…. worth it?”).
As for Keith, he is always right. Lanie is always wrong. The man is always right. Call me puzzled, but I actually thought Cal is a much nicer guy than Keith – Cal doesn’t lecture Lanie as if she’s a ten-year old dingbat. Then again, Cal doesn’t encourage Lanie’s neurotic, overblown over analyzing of every emotion, every word, every repetitious concept this movie throws my way, and in the world of bad chick flick movies, Cal is hence a jerk and have to go. Out!
And here I thought his baseball therapy is pretty romantic and effective.
So, I guess, the message is to follow your… heart, I guess. Live life for today, blah blah blah. Of course, the people here are always rich enough to tell me that money isn’t everything as they take their days off to roll around in bed or watch baseball games. If I take their advice, I’d probably be queuing at the unemployment line by now.
Annoying, cloying, and it’s all about the unintelligent “maternal instincts”, Life or Something Like It is all about the BS.