No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.
In Life as We Know It, Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel can’t stand each other, but agree to raise the orphaned child of their friends anyway, because an environment of seething resentment and hatred is hardly different from what other kids grow up in. This flick sprang from (among other films):
• Knocked Up (2007), which is practically the same movie, except the new parents didn’t even get to have sex; it also features Katherine Heigl as a woman who doesn’t want to be a mother but decides, what the hell, it seems like a lark.
• Raising Helen (2004), another obnoxious example of a woman (Kate Hudson) punished for having a career and freedom by getting saddled with her orphaned nieces and nephew (don’t worry: she’ll learn to love it just as Heigl keeps getting forced to).
• The Proposal (2009), for another loathsome instance of that thing that happens only in Hollywood — people who hate each other end up falling madly in love; here, the seething anger that exists between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds naturally morphs into true love.
• Pride & Prejudice (2005), for the ur hate-then-love romance — and perhaps the only one that actually works — with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen blah blah blah.
Where to buy:
Knocked Up [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Pride & Prejudice [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Proposal [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Raising Helen [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]