Life or Something Like It

About halfway through Life or Something Like It, it is patently obvious exactly what will happen at the end of the movie. Aside from the already known fact that Lanie Karrigan and Pete (no last name), two co-workers who detest each other, will fall in love and get together. This is nothing more than the latest generic romantic comedy, aided by a comedic performance by Angelina Jolie and a typical performance for Edward Burns. This is Jolie's first outright comedic role (her last two films were Tomb Raider and Original Sin, both comedies in certain ways), and she isn't bad at all. For Burns (Sidewalks of New York, 15 Minutes), this is the same role he plays in every movie. It doesn't always work (especially in the ones he writes) but it is serviceable here.

Karrigan (Jolie) is an up-and-coming feature reporter living what she thinks is the perfect life. She is up for a position for a national morning show, dresses snazzy, has perfectly coiffed hair, great friends, and a famous baseball player boyfriend (Christian Kane, Summer Catch, Crossfire Trail). This potential job means reteaming with Pete (Burns), the only station cameraman with national experience. Their hatred towards each other can only mean they are attracted to each other. While doing a story on local homeless man Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub, Impostor, 13 Ghosts), he predicts the score of a game, it will hail the next day, and that Lanie will die within a week. When the first two predictions come true, it spurs a profound change in Lanie. Although Lanie lives a full life, it is very superficial. Pete seems to be much more content, but doesn't do much. Now with her mortality possibly threatened, Lanie begins to realize there is more to life than a job and prestige. Now, she eats junk food, doesn't shower, listens to Social Distortion loudly, and reconnects with her family.

It's all very formulaic done with a minimal amount of effort by screenwriters John Scott Shepherd (Joe Somebody) and Dana Stevens (For Love of the Game, City of Angels). Life of Something Like It loses some of its sheen when it goes for bluntness over subtlety. Every time director Stephen Herek (Rock Star, Holy Man) conveys a message, he shoves it in the face of the audience. Lanie learns about what is important in life, but just in case somebody isn't paying attention, Herek shouts loudly in scenes like the one where she interviews a Barbara Walters-type journalist (Stockard Channing, The Business of Strangers, Where the Heart Is). She even appears drunk on television leading striking workers in an a capella version of Satisfaction, which has the opposite effect that it would in any world except that of a movie. Jolie is surprisingly believable, it's just the script she needs to follow that needs work.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 44 minutes, Rated PG-13 for sexual content, brief violence, and language.

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