Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 31
  2. Negative: 9 out of 31
Watch On
  1. The dialogue is an occasionally witty cut above the norm, partly because director Greg Berlanti goes easy on those cute baby reaction shots, but mainly because of something rather more valuable: screen chemistry.
  2. The script, from first time screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson, takes a predictable premise and gives it surprising depth.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Predicating an escapist romantic comedy on a realistic tragedy requires a nimble touch at the helm. Perhaps if Life had been made by, say, James Brooks, it would have worked.
  4. The movie begins with a tragedy and eases into a more interesting blend of drama and comedy than we've gotten in this genre lately.
  5. 63
    As uneven as it is, Life as We Know It still goes down like comic comfort food, especially for anybody who's ever dealt with parenthood.
  6. Although wholly predictable in its every beat and featuring bland, unremarkable WASPs as romantic leads, "Life" is not without its charms.
  7. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    It's a predictable date-night diversion.
  8. What you may not expect is quite how satisfying much of the film is, with Duhamel turning out to be a very good sparring partner for Heigl.
  9. 60
    Despite these two actors' decent - and occasionally very charming - performances the film stacks the odds of the audience caring about Heigl and Duhamel against a narrative vacuum that favors eye candy and cheap effect over emotional logic.
  10. 60
    Sarah Burns steals scenes as a seemingly prim social worker, and Melissa McCarthy (Sookie on "The Gilmore Girls") does the same as a pushy neighbor. The supporting cast serves up enough small moments of surprise to keep this formula flick from falling flat.
  11. A more contrived and tenuous premise you would be hard-pressed to find, although, since this is a romantic comedy, suspension of disbelief comes with the territory.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Life as We Know It gives bland and predictable a good name.
  13. With pratfalls and teardrops, the film swings from sitcom to sit-dram.
  14. It's enough to say that the bland romantic comedy Life as We Know It, in which there is not a single deviation from formula, is well made for its corporate type.
  15. The movie's name is Life as We Know It, but that seems incomplete. The predicate's missing. The full sentence should be "Life as we know it is over," i.e., nuked by the sudden and irreversible arrival of a human infant.
  16. 50
    Possibly because Heigl is one of the producers, the most beautiful woman in the film -- the stunning Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men" -- dies in an off-screen car crash barely before the opening credits are over.
  17. 42
    Pity any poor kid stuck in a house like that. Pity, too, anyone who has to stop by for a visit.
  18. The sisters who play Sophie are adorable. And if you happen to be a sleep-deprived parent yourself, there are worse ways to catch a two-hour nap.
  19. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    The feminine fantasies Berlanti seemingly seeks to stoke are undercut by a vibe that's weirdly misogynistic.
  20. Reviewed by: Lisa Rosman
    Brittle, workaholic and bitterly single does not a Kate Hepburn make, and in this latest screen iteration of The Taming of the Heigl, she doesn't stray far enough from her standard rom-com shtick.
  21. It's the best date-night movie to hit the screens in a while, which, considering the competition, is very faint praise.
  22. The movie relies on the notion that postponing sex heightens arousal, but its lovers aren't any better matched post-coitus than they were before.
  23. 38
    Cloying and at times annoying, Life as We Know It is egregiously manipulative, whoring itself out for a few unearned tears.
  24. 38
    So anyway, what happens in Life As We Know It? You'll never guess in a million years. Never.
  25. 38
    Sometimes I suspect there is secret high-stakes contest in Hollywood among filmmakers to try and come up with a movie without a single original idea. If so, Life As We Know It is a contender.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Another dreadful entry in the festering form of romantic comedy: the forced intimacy of two people who have nothing in common but hatred for each other.
  27. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 21, 2010
    At nearly two hours, the movie feels bloated. It could easily lose 30 minutes, give or take, and live. It would still not, however, live up to its title.
  28. 25
    A sitcom pilot idea stretched to feature length boredom.
  29. The movie will surely find an audience, since it speaks to young people's anxieties about marriage and parenting. But what are two particularly engaging performers doing in a dump of a comedy like this?
  30. There's something about Holly: She's the most ridiculous, irritating, two-dimensional rom-com heroine since...Katherine Heigl's last rom-com.
  31. 12
    This is crap as we know it, a 113 minute package of romcom suck.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Oct 21, 2010
    Better than average. Worse than I thought it would be.

    Two polar opposites stuck to raise a child. Together. After their mutual friends are
    Better than average. Worse than I thought it would be.

    Two polar opposites stuck to raise a child. Together. After their mutual friends are killed in a car accident, they're the only option. What else happens is not only predictable, but almost inevitable. I hate to say this, because I love Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, but the script is pretty run of the mill. While the relationship with the child is well-thought out, and though unoriginal, fun to watch, the relationship between Messer and Holly was too quick. You don't go on a date and fall in love. This isn't a Nicholas Sparks novel. Their relationship was too rushed. I'm not sure who to blame here - the writers or the director, for editing out good moments between the pairing. This is aimed at for hopeless romantics (myself included) so maybe it would've been smarter to focus a little more on the couple.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2012
    Life as We Know it means well and it features surprisingly good performances from Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel who have excellentLife as We Know it means well and it features surprisingly good performances from Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel who have excellent chemistry. The film does generate some laughs but falls for the basic Romantic Comedy formula instead of the hopeful premise we had in mind. I give this film 58%. Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The rich are different, but not this different, not this cheeky. We can only hope that life doesn't imitate art, since romantic comedies as we know it, are growing more bizarre with each new entry in a dying genre whose modern-day practitioners have butchered so many hearts on celluloid, we stopped counting, and this latest entry, "Life as We Know It", is just one more rom-com that seems less concerned with the mysteries of love than the plot machinations which tears love apart before it even has a chance to coalesce. The rich can't be this twisted, can they? With friends like the Novaks(Hayes McArthur and Christina Hendricks), who needs any enemies? Messer(Josh Duchamel) and Holly(Katherine Heigl) have the worst friends ever, friends that on some level, must resent their single lives and the liberties that goes along with it, especially the liberty which retains them the right to pursue dreams, unencumbered by baggage. He wants to direct NBA basketball telecasts; she wants to expand her bakery into a restaurant, but after Peter and Alison, all too conveniently, die on cue, their baby, the baby of discontent, seemingly, throws a monkey wrench into the career trajectories of Sophie's legal guardians, who are probably the least qualified people for the job: two emotional idiots, too self-centered for child rearing, and too stupid to realize they've been "punk'd" from beyond the graves. Why don't they object more fervently to the conditions? Strangest of all, the Novaks have a stipulation in the will that Holly and Messer should live in their house with Sophie, like an arranged marriage, complete with child, which makes "Life as We Know It", a rom-com with accidental Indian undertones. If Heigl sang(as she performed "Bennie and the Jets" in Anne Fletcher's "27 Dresses"), then the film would have the makings of an accidental Bollywood musical. Doomed from the outset, the set-up, singles being so gung ho about moving in together with somebody else's baby, is so hard to accept, since their first date went so horribly wrong. It's not emotional blackmail, the need to fulfill dead friends' wishes, that keeps them together, it's the contrivances set forth by a narrative which isn't altogether different from John Landis' "Trading Places". Like Mortimer(Don Ameche) and Randolph Duke(Ralph Bellamy), who both allow somebody equally unqualified(a con-man named Billy Ray Valentine(Eddie Murphy), a financial naif) to take care of their business, their "baby", a wager must also have been the inspiration for Peter and Alison's idea to bestow full custody of Sophie to such incompetent parental candidates like Holly and Messer. Life, as "we" know it, real life, that is, not the diegetical life which sometimes breed convincing human simulacrum, but more often than not, plays as a backdrop for conceptual "people", would entail that some family member from the deceased pair step forward and claim the Novak baby. But "Life as We Know It" doesn't want anything to infringe on the supposed hilarious domestic hijinks of first-time parents, or the supposed heartbreak of first-time parents breaking up, and then the poignant reconciliation, again, at an airport, of first-time parents kissing. Full Review »