Carpe Diem. Seize the Day. Live life to the fullest. Live each day like it’s your last. Don’t have any regrets. Choose love over money. These are all morals that we have seen over the years emerge from Hollywood movies and the new movie “Life or Something Like It” has made an amalgam of all of these morals. We’ve seen it before, so is there any reason to see it again?
With her new Marilyn Monroe makeover, “Girl Interrupted” star Angelina Jolie plays Laine Kerrigan, an ambitious news reporter desperately trying to become the best in her field. She is a Mercedes-driving, Versace-wearing egocentric woman that is packed into a cute little shell that is better to look at than listen to. And, of course, like all rich and successful people in the movies, this character is somehow unknowingly unsatisfied. It isn’t until she hears a prophet predict her upcoming death that she decides she must find out how she can improve her life to make herself actually happy. She then goes on her way trying to discover the definition of all the things taken for granted in this world, the whole while trying to save a life that she has tried so hard to build. But is that life right for her?
The stars’ power is charming enough and bubbles with enough chemistry that they transcend the cliches and tackiness of the script. Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns (“She’s the One”) have yet to fail to deliver in a given role. They are both very solid actors who can take even this very familiar story line and make it appear fresh. The main feature in the supporting cast is Tony Shalhoub who is best known for his TV role on “Wings” as Antonio. He plays the street prophet in this film. He is an actor with versatility and range, which has been proven from his roles as a small time Arab taxi driver to a New York City police officer and now to a homeless savant.
Who else reinforces this supporting cast? Well, how about Rizzo! Yes, Stockard Channing, who is best known for her role as the tough feminist Rizzo in “Grease” appears as just another superficial and materialistic news personality but reaches out from this stereotypical character, just like the entire cast does with their characters. They comfort the audience with an embrace that is oddly and almost disturbingly enjoyable.
This picture is a mixed bag. It has funny lines, it has cheesy lines, it has romantic lines, and it has lines that just shouldn’t be in film. But it could definitely be seen as a fun, uplifting film that could make you feel a little better about fate. So why should we see a movie with the same message that we’ve seen in other movies?
Because sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that happiness in life most often comes from unexpected places and that we need to really live this life we are given. If it is simply that message you want to get and don’t want to see a new product of Hollywood, then rent “Dead Poets Society.” But if you want the same old moral in a new package, then go see this film despite the C+ rating I give it. n
Suggestions with Angelina Jolie: “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Pushing Tin,” “Playing By Heart,” “Girl Interrupted,” “Bone Collector,” “Gia,” “Hackers.”
Suggestions with Edward Burns: “She’s the One,” “15 Minutes,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “No Looking Back,” “The Brothers McMullen.”
Suggestions with Tony Shalhoub: “The Siege,” “A Life Less Ordinary,” “Quick Change,” “Big Night,” “Men In Black,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”