Life Or Something Like It (2002) Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
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PEROXIDE RAINS FROM THE SKY in this romantic comedy featuring Angelina Jolie playing Lanie Kerrigan, a Seattle television news reporter. Poofed and coiffed to the point where her “do” could double for a remote receiving antenna, Lanie is thrilled when her boss recommends her for a big-time job on a national morning show. To get her ready for the big leagues, she’s teamed up with former network cameraman Pete (Edward Burns)—a decision she isn’t happy about.
The unshaven photographer’s lack of respect for her growing celebrity status is irksome enough, but after an assignment leads the quarreling team to a homeless man named Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub), Lanie is certain Pete has had a hand in the street savant’s prediction that she will die in a week. The problem is, Pete denies it, and Prophet Jack has never been wrong. Suddenly Lanie is convinced her perfect life is about to sign off.
Perhaps it’s my 20 years of broadcasting experience that makes movies based in the television industry so intolerable. I need to remember the average viewer doesn’t know you can’t twist a knob on a professional mike to make your reporter sound like she’s breathing helium. Nor is a journalist relegated to covering “lights” (happy stories) about bizarre street people likely to be airlifted to a network position—especially after drunkenly crooning “Satisfaction” with striking bus workers. However, I still think any intelligent viewer will detect other flaws in this movie, especially the increasingly empathetic Pete.
A man whose reputation leads you to believe there isn’t a female reporter he hasn’t sexually investigated, the divorced father throws all his charm at Lanie, helping her throw off that plastic persona and learn to really love someone… just like he can. Her blonde ambition never shines brighter than when she actually believes this guy and even succumbs to his frequent begging for sex.
A sentimental ending focuses a bright spot on Lanie’s family relationships, but it is overshadowed by profanities and twisted morals. From broadcasting to relationships, this isn’t life… or anything like it.Starring Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release April 25, 2002. Updated April 30, 2009
Life Or Something Like It (2002) Parents' Guide
After returning his son to his ex-wife, Pete asks, “What’s better, the two of us getting divorced, or trying to stay together for him?” Is divorce the best answer? Do you think children can still benefit even if a couple has to put their differences aside to keep the family together?
Lanie puts a lot of emphasis on her good looks. Is that the only criteria for being a TV reporter? What qualifications do you think a good journalist needs?
Lanie is counseled to live each day as if it were her last, because one day it will be. How do you feel about this advice?