Life Or Something Like It

"OK"

Life Or Something Like It Review


Angelina Jolie shows off the lighter side of her considerable acting talent in "Life or Something Like It," a re-prioritization comedy about an ambitious, showbiz-shallow, platinum blonde fluff reporter for a Seattle TV news station.

She revels in the savvy superficiality the part calls for (God forbid her hunky baseball star fiancé discover she wears contacts!), yet she reveals in layers a hidden depth and intelligence that her character willfully swallowed after learning to get by on her looks and feigned effervescence. The camera loves exploring Jolie's gorgeous visage for cracks in this vivacious facade, which the actress provides in subtle spades. And in her entertaining love-hate relationship with her smarmy-charmy, laid-back, flannel-clad, 5-o'clock-shadow cameraman (Edward Burns, "15 Minutes"), she delivers bitingly flirtatious rejoinders like a whip-smart dame from a Howard Hawkes movie.

"Ever heard the expression 'a picture's worth a thousand words'?" he snipes, frustrated with her interference while he's composing a shot for one of her reports.

"That's great for people like you, who don't know a thousand words," she zings back with fire in her eyes.

For the better part of an hour, director Stephen Herek ("Rock Star") lets these likable characters drive the plot, which gets rolling when Jolie reports on a homeless street prophet who has an amazing track record of predictions that come true. Played with delightfully off-kilter aplomb by a mangy Tony Shalhoub ("The Man Who Wasn't There"), he tells her, "The Seahawks are going to win, tomorrow morning it's going to hail, and next Thursday you're going to die. I'm sorry."

She laughs it off -- until she's woken up by a hailstorm.

But after spending an amusing, somewhat unconventional few reels watching Jolie squirm at the thought of re-examining her life path -- "But I've worked so hard on this one!" she grouses -- as a possible way to head off disaster, the movie slips into routine romantic comedy platitudes. At the end of Act Two, Herek resorts to a musical montage sequence for a life-embracing day out with Burns. They have French toast for breakfast, play Scrabble in pajamas, go book shopping, go on amusement park rides, take a scenic walk around Puget Sound, eat ice cream and fall into bed -- all to the tune of an innocuously giddy Jewel song.

And it's all downhill from there.

Once Jolie lands the network job she's been dreaming of for years -- one day before she's supposed to meet her fate -- the movie becomes nothing but a string of over-scripted, formulaic, credibility-stretching gimmicks. The inevitable career goals vs. romance dilemma (goodness knows female movie characters can't have both) comes right on schedule, as does the reflecting-on-what-it-all-means voice-over epilogue.

Sadly, Herek tips his hand to where the movie is headed in the opening scene, which shows Jolie on an operating table, thus killing any suspense surrounding how close she might come to her demise.

Essentially a good movie gone bad, "Life or Something Like It" isn't exactly ruined by its falling back on banality. But even with all its early creative energy and the two-wrongs-make-a-right chemistry between Jolie and Burns (whose tarnished, down-to-earth Brooklyn smart-aleck persona is the perfect foil for the film's heroine), this otherwise appealing picture leaves a bad taste in your mouth after it loses its soul to Screenwriting For Dummies conformity.



Life Or Something Like It

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th April 2002

Box Office USA: $14.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $16.9M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 34 Rotten: 87

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Lanie Kerrigan, as Pete, as Jack, as Cal Cooper, as Andrea, Lisa Thornhill as Gwen, as Deborah Connors, as Dennis, as Vin, as Mark Laughlin

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.