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Life or Something Like It (2002)

Destiny is what you make of it.

Directed by:

Stephen Herek

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 103 minutes

UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

Angelina Jolie stars as Lanie Kerrigan, an up-and-coming television reporter with a perfect, if shallow, life. A platinum blonde with plenty of assets, she has been a success as a beat reporter for a local Seattle television station and is now up for a big move to a network station in New York. Her personal life is also promising – she is engaged to a professional baseball star, and her future seems assured. The only problem she faces is her infuriating cameraman Pete (Edward Burns), but even he is only a minor irritation in her wonderful life. However, everything in Lanie’s life changes after she is sent to interview a homeless man on the street – an erstwhile prophet who predicts the scores of sports matches.

Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub) gives Lanie a variety of predictions, culminating with telling her that her life has no meaning and she has only a week to live. As she sees Jack’s predictions coming true one after another, she starts to believe that he may actually be genuine, and starts to fear for her life. In response, she starts to live each day as if it were her last, and to find out what difference she can make to the world, all with the help of Pete. She also makes deals with Frank to try to find out more about her impending death, although she isn’t reassured. As her time starts to run out, she will finally begin to understand what really matters to her.

This romantic comedy is certainly cute, and it is interesting to see Jolie in a different type of role than usual. However, while the concept does have plenty of promise the film rarely manages to live up to it. The idea is not used to advantage, and the film really becomes just another feel-good movie. The strong cast do the best they can with the script, resulting in some good moments and funny one-liners, but the weak story and inconsistent direction leave them floundering at times. Jolie, Burns and Shalhoub are probably the best reasons to watch this film, although sadly Stockard Channing is very much underused. This one is fair entertainment but nothing spectacular.

It's Got: An interesting premise, although not terribly well executed.

It Needs: Some novelty to lift it above the ordinary.

DVD Extras No extras included with this basic DVD release. DVD Extras Rating: 0/10

Alternatives:

Bruce Almighty., Groundhog Day, What Women Want

Summary

Cheerful but predictable comedy romance that successfully fills a couple of hours but makes little impact.

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