The times are perfect for a quirky, carpe-diem movie like Life Or Something Like It. Angelina Jolie (channeling Nicole Kidman’s To Die For Suzanne Stone Maretto and Loni Anderson’s “WKRP” Jennifer Marlowe) is news reporter Lanie Kerrigan, an ambitious, narcissistic actress-type desperately seeking the love of her father via national anchorwoman notoriety. Jolie glows during the film’s first half, proving she can do more than play psycho. She singlehandedly carries the weight of an oft-predictable plot on her fuscia Dolce & Gabanna heels. But when Lanie sees the error of her superstar ways (thanks to a homeless man’s prediction that her time on Earth is up), Life Or Something Like It quickly slips into seize-the-day banality: she rediscovers Social Distortion, dumps her shallow cowboy-boot wearin’ baseball player husband (Christian Kane), and champions the mass-transit strikers’ cause during a newscast accompanied by an embarrassingly staged “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” sing-a-long. “I’m not drunk,” she quips. “I’m free!” (Ahh, but she was drunk and the sequence is only redeemed once Lanie is forced to watch the broadcast sans the karaoke backing track and fabricated choreography with which director Stephen Herek tortures his audience.) Falling back into the arms of cameraman, one-time-lover and future boyfriend Pete (Edward Burns), Lanie rediscovers the meaning of life (or something like it) only to then snag her dream-job and leave Pete for the Big Apple. Once in New York, Lanie interviews her idol, super-newsperson Deborah Connors (a delectably over-the-top Stockard Channing), rediscovers life and, well, “dies.” Like most romantic comedies that want to say more than When Harry Met Sally, Life doesn’t know how to end. The film’s fatal flaw is that Lanie actually lives. Perhaps her lessons would pack a more powerful (albeit cynical) wallop had she, like Gia before her, died in spite of them.
- 20th Century Fox
- 99 min
- Stephen Herek
- John Scott Shepherd, Dana Stevens
- Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns, Stockard Channing, Melissa Errico, Tony Shalhoub, Christian Kane, Lisa Thornhill, Jacob Davis
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