Life As We Know It parents guide

Life As We Know It Parent Guide

Luckily for audience members, Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel create some strong screen chemistry. However, for family viewing, this movie is complicated by more than just a shared child.

Overall C

Holly Benson (Katherine Heigl) and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) hardly know each other, but they each agree to become the godparents of their mutual friends' daughter. However the two are thrown together after a tragic accident leaves the little girl an orphan, and Holly and Eric learn they have been named her co-guardians.

Release date October 8, 2010

Violence B
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D+
Substance Use D

Why is Life As We Know It rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Life As We Know It PG-13 for sexual material, language and some drug content.

Run Time: 113 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Some couples stay together for the sake of the kids. But in Life As We Know It, Holly Benson (Katherine Heigl) and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) are thrown together because of a baby.

The two single adults met on a blind date arranged by their mutual friends Peter and Alison Novack (Hayes MacArthur and Christina Hendricks) and discovered they had absolutely nothing in common. However when Peter and Alison are killed in a car accident a couple of years later, Holly and Eric find out they have been named the joint custodians of the Novack’s baby daughter Sophie (played by Alexis, Brynn and Brooke Clagett).

Instant parenthood causes big changes for both of them, especially when they move into the Novack’s house together. Holly, an efficient and controlling businesswoman who runs her own gourmet food shop, can’t entice the toddler to try even one bite of her homemade baby food. Eric, on the other hand, finds that the lack of sleep and nonstop responsibility of raising a child not only interferes with his job on the Atlanta Hawks’ broadcast team but also his insatiable libido. (His sexual penchants result in plenty of innuendo throughout the film, some crass comments and occasional scenes of him in bed with different women.)

In the midst of changing diapers and juggling work schedules, these new parents also struggle with the loss of their friends. The stress of the unexpected situation is evident when the emotionally strained Holly breaks down in the office of Sophie’s pediatrician (Josh Lucas). Though the doctor’s prescription for his patient’s caregiver is two glasses of wine, Holly downs nearly a whole bottle of it before Eric gets home at the end of the day. And as the seasons pass, it doesn’t appear the couple is getting any closer to creating the kind of happy home Peter and Alison envisioned for their orphaned child.

Luckily for audience members, Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel create some strong screen chemistry. Their performances are complimented by several likable secondary characters including a hefty cab driver turned nanny, a teary social worker (Chanta Rivers) and Eric’s broadcast buddy (Kumail Nanjiani).

However for family viewing, this Life is complicated by more than just a shared child. The possible consequences of Eric’s promiscuity, such as sexually transmitted diseases, are conveniently avoided. And several characters (including couples with a child) engage in the recreational use of illegal substances. (Although Peter admits he and Alison use drugs on occasion, the script fails to say whether or not they were a factor in their deaths.)

Anyone raising a child, even under ideal circumstances, knows the challenges that come with the experience. But the characters in this story make matters worse with squabbles and situations that hamper their best efforts. With such hurdles it is difficult to believe they could ever achieve a happily ever after family.

Directed by Greg Berlanti. Starring Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel. Running time: 113 minutes. Theatrical release October 8, 2010. Updated

Life As We Know It
Rating & Content Info

Why is Life As We Know It rated PG-13? Life As We Know It is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual material, language and some drug content.

Violence: A car accident (no details shown) results in the death of two people. A couple argues on several occasions. A man accidentally drops a baby and later knocks her over. A man suggests he would like to kick his spouse in the face and murder several TV characters.

Sexual Content: Suggestive or crude sexual comments are heard throughout. A woman vices a disturbing remark about her husband and their young babysitter. A man makes out with a woman at a wedding. Hetero and homosexual couples discuss sexual activities and engage in physical displays of affection. A man is seen in bed with a number of different women. He also discusses his condom use. Some passionate kisses are depicted. A woman briefly talks about her job as a stripper. Several characters ogle others or hit on them.

Language: An anatomical term for male anatomy is used, as well as frequent terms of Deity and mild/moderate profanities. At least four crude terms for sexual activity are included, along with a couple of mouthed sexual expletives and crude hand gestures.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink repeatedly at home and social gatherings, including children’s parties. Two delivery guys are portrayed as being high. A man confiscates their drugs for his own personal use. He comments that he and his wife occasionally engage in recreational use of illegal substances after their child is asleep. Another couple, that also has responsibility for a child, gets high after making and eating brownies laced with illegal drugs. A woman becomes drunk after imbibing excessively.

Other: Bathroom bodily functions are implied on a few occasions.

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More parents' guide for Life As We Know It after the break...

Life As We Know It Parents' Guide

Holly and Eric admit they have tiptoed around the Novack’s house since taking over the care of Sophie. What initiates their change of attitude toward their living space? How do they make it their own? How does that help them move on with their new life?

What selfish interests does each of them have to give up? What are some of the sacrifices parents make for their kids? This script suggests there are benefits in having two parents, if possible. What are some of those advantages? How do Holly and Eric’s different personalities contribute to a better experience for Sophie?

Sexual promiscuity and the recreational use of illegal drugs are played for comedy in this movie. Why are the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases or impairment never discussed? What other consequences for these two activities are not addressed?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Life As We Know It movie is February 8, 2011. Here are some details…

Life As We Know It releases to DVD and Blu-ray on February 8. 2011.

Related home video titles:

This film’s three main characters also play romantic leads in the following movies. In the Love Comes Softly collection, a young Katherine Heigl portrays a woman who faces the hardships of pioneering life. Josh Duhamel can be seen in the comedies When In Rome and Ramona and Beezus. Josh Lucas stars as a backwoods Alabama man who tries to convince his wife to return to him in Sweet Home Alabama.

Another career-minded woman finds her life forever altered when she becomes the guardian of her sister’s three children in Raising Helen. A young boy is changed as much as his two elderly uncles when he is forced to accept their begrudgingly-given hospitality after his mother abandons him for the summer in Secondhand Lions.