Life or Something Like It
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
We all go through one of those phases when a particular actor or actress peaks your interest. You see all of their movies, check out their interviews, read magazine articles about them, etc. These phases usually come and go fairly quickly and we move on to some other actor or actress. When I was in my Angelina Jolie phase, I would go see her movies, regardless of how long she was in them or how good the reviews were. Then again, that was when the price of a movie ticket wasnít so gut wrenchingly expensive. It was during this phase that I first saw Life or Something Like It. I liked it so much, I bought the DVD.
Have you ever wondered whether the decisions you have made in your life have had any effect on the meaning of your life? Has a decision you made in the past caused your life to be less meaningful in the grand scheme of things, or more meaningful? This is the plight of Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie), a Seattle reporter competing for a spot on a high profile talk show similar to Good Morning America, after a homeless prophet (Tony Shaloub) predicts that she will die the following week. With the aide of former boyfriend and now highly adversarial cameraman Pete Scanlon (Edward Burns), Lanie works on making her life more meaningful before time runs out.
Yes, Life or Something Like It is a romantic comedy and, as such, rather predictable. However, this movie does give one food for thought. The message it sends is to cherish the things we normally take for granted in our lives. Life can be rather unpredictable and we often take little things for granted until they are no longer available to us. It also asks us to think about our decisions, how they reflect on who we are and how they effect others around us.
The movie contains quite a few comedic moments, my favorite being when Lanie leads a group of picketing union members in a resounding chorus of Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones. Angelina Jolie has a natural flair for comedy and it appeared as if she was having a great deal of fun performing in this scene. The adversarial attitude between her character and Burnsí character was entertaining and the chemistry was just hot enough to make a relationship between the two characters believable. Tony Shaloub is perfect in his role as Prophet Jack, a sarcastic prophetic homeless man with a cynical take on life. Stockard Channing makes a memorable appearance as an Oprah-like talk show host that Lanie Kerrigan considers her hero.
The DVD version of Life or Something Like It contains very little in the extra features department. You can chose from widescreen or standard format, a variety of languages and you can listen to a commentary by the director. I would have loved to see some outtakes, but sometimes one simply has to settle for an enjoyable film. And Life or Something Like It is just that - an enjoyable romantic comedy with a viable message about the way we live our lives.