They say you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but whatever. They say a lot of things. They say you're not supposed to send text messages during a movie, too, and everyone still does it. So when I saw the trailer for Life As We Know It the other night -- the figurative cover for this figurative book -- and sat there, agape, astonished at the misery I was witnessing, I jotted down a few thoughts. The trailer is posted after the jump; check it out, then see if any of your thoughts resemble mine.
- Boy, they are not going to give up on this Katherine Heigl thing, are they? The combination of Grey's Anatomy and Knocked Up made her a star, but everything she has done since then has been awful. 27 Dresses? More like 27 Messes! Killers? More like Please Kill Her! The Ugly Truth? More like The Ugly Stupid Romantic Comedy That I Hate, and Also Please Kill Her! She has a dour, scolding persona, and she keeps choosing formulaic romantic comedies that wouldn't be good even if someone fun were in them. Whichever diabolical Hollywood organization is pushing the Katherine Heigl agenda, it needs to be stopped, through an act of Congress if necessary.
- This premise. Oy gevalt, this premise. A man and a woman meet in some disastrous way, immediately dislike each other, then find themselves thrust together again by circumstance. Eventually they fall in love. Does that sound familiar? Then you must have seen a movie before! That's the scenario in Life As We Know It, but there's an added twist. Instead of the guy turning out to be the girl's new boss, or the girl turning out to be the guy's new neighbor, Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel are forced to reunite so they can raise their dead friends' baby daughter! Wheeee! We went on a date, we hate each other, and now we have to be parents! GA-ZOING!! It's a combination of two terrible movie formulas, the one where the foes fall in love, and the one where some idiot's last will and testament requires people to do something stupid.
- They even have to live in the dead couple's house? What, it would be too traumatic for a 6-month-old baby to move? Is she an ex-con with an ankle monitor? Why can't they live wherever the H. they want to?
- It's sadhappyfunny! It's so sad that the baby girl's parents have died tragically. But it's so wacky that she poops! It's so frustrating that Heigl and Duhamel's lives have been commandeered by their friends' selfish, ill-advised last wishes (i.e., "We want these two people who hate each other to raise our child, in our house, according to our terms, without their prior consent"). But it's so sweet how being foster parents causes them to fall in love! And a good thing, too, since there's no way either of them could ever meet anyone else, having been sentenced to at least 18 years of parental imprisonment in the gloomy house of dead jerks.
- "I finally figured out why Peter and Allison picked us, and it's not because we knew them best, it's because you and me, together, and Sophie -- somehow, we're a family." That's right, Duhamel. Your stupid friends were visionary psychic prophets who KNEW that entrusting their baby to a pair of people who dislike one another and don't want children would work out wonderfully. Hey, if they could see the future so clearly, why couldn't they see that car coming?
- The trailer is 2 1/2 minutes long, and a total of 30 seconds of it is devoted to poop. When you only have 2 1/2 minutes to sell a movie to an audience and you choose to spend 20 percent of that time talking about feces, the message you're sending is that you have given up on life. Also, please note that if the trailer is an accurate representation of the movie's content, and the movie is 100 minutes long, we should be prepared 20 minutes of excrement humor. I have proved it with math.
- OK, I like the part where Duhamel pushes the baby over. There should be more baby-shoving in movies. I've always said this.
- Katherine Heigl has poop on her face. Look, if the movie's going to harp on the poop thing, so am I. Even if we grant that it may be acceptable, in certain situations, for a film character to wind up with feces smeared on his or her skin -- and this is already questionable -- don't we as a society draw the line at including that image right there in the @&#*!$% advertising? What is the matter with these people? They had to digitally remove the blood from Hermione's hand in the Harry Potter trailer, but sure, excrement on Katherine Heigl's face, THAT'S fine. By all means, show unsuspecting moviegoers what it looks like when someone defecates on Katherine Heigl. This was a conscious decision. Someone in a meeting said, "Look, we have this hilarious moment in the movie where a brown glob of baby crap has been applied to Katherine Heigl's cheek, right next to her mouth, and we'd really like to use this as a selling point." And the other people said, "Oh, yes, definitely, we'd hate to pass up an opportunity like that," and the guy who had the idea got a promotion, and then they all set some money on fire.