Life or Something Like It (2002)


This movie isn’t as deep as it wanted to be, if it even wanted to be deep at all; it’s actually just pseudo-spiritual nonsense when you get right down to it. Angelina Jolie picks one of the rotten scripts out of the entire flock with a story that is nothing but fluff and unbearable melodrama. What should have been a meditation on a woman seeking self-analysis becomes nothing more than a comedy that tries every time to tells odd jokes but fails miserably.

Jolie plays Lanie Kerrigan, a self-absorbed and very ambitious news reporter for the local Seattle news station. She’s vying for a job at a big news station in New York, so she’s teamed up with skilled news cameraman Pete (Ed Burns). One day while filming the local San Francisco spectacle named “Prophet Jack” (Tony Shalhoub), he reveals to her she will die in one week. After a string of his predictions come true, Laney begins to suspect the prophecy may be for real, and she’s forced to analyze herself and discover if her life is as fulfilled as she thinks. The scenes where Jolie’s character attempts to redeem herself and her life are laughable as she goes through a failed attempt to talk to her big sister Gwen (criminally underrated bombshell Lisa Thornhill) who she’s always in competition with.

The moments with her father are also so generic and trite that I never felt sorry for either of them and never cared much. The script written by John Scott Shepherd and Dana Stevens is horrible, as the movie takes potentially heart wrenching moments, and completely misses its mark. The writers pack this up with horrible monologues and far-fetched scenarios, and a climax that opts for sugary sweet rather than tragic and thought provoking. “Life of Something Like It” is a formulaic, fluffy, mindless, and dull piece of junk. It wastes folks like Tony Shalhoub, and but completely misses the mark when it comes to depth, complexity, and brain candy. Instead it trades it for life affirming saccharine nonsense that builds up to nothing and says nothing.