Matt Pais, @mattpais
RedEye movie critic
April 12, 2012
Zero stars (out of four)
If “Juno” knocked up “Life As We Know It” and totally neglected the baby, that child could still write a better movie than “L!fe Happens.” By the age of six.
As Kim, co-writer Krysten Ritter (“Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23”) not only lies to a guy (Geoff Stults) by claiming that her baby actually belongs to her roommate Deena (Kate Bosworth) but complains about the exhausting challenge of maintaining the lie. Kim’s not someone who believes in effort and accountability anyway; her pregnancy results from a night in which Deena snags the last condom in the house (“Friends” episode, anyone?), and throughout “L!Fe Happens” Kim treats her son Max as a giant inconvenience that hinders her dating life and slows her goal of opening a doggie mall.
“L!Fe Happens” has the gall to present Deena’s obnoxious, party girl pal (Fallon Goodson) as a fan of The National and Bon Iver (rather than, uh, Katy Perry and Ke$ha), not to mention the use of “douche-nozzle,” “sleaze-weasel” and “eye-gasm” in the first five minutes or so. Perhaps it shouldn’t have been surprising that the movie, which not only offers no insight on relationships but seems completely unfamiliar with normal human behavior, later features Lauren Conrad as herself and a paragon of intelligence and success.
Rachel Bilson flashes dimwitted perkiness and a revolving door of revealing outfits as the girls’ third roommate, a virgin who only takes jobs requiring her to wear skimpy clothing and park cars/act as a human sushi platter/etc. She’s lucky to mostly avoid a scene in which Kim and Deena comment on their friend’s life as if it were their own (remember that “Friends” episode?) and when Kim hires a 12-year-old neighbor to watch her kid so she can go on a date. Earlier, she only brings Max to a yoga class so she can get in shape for her date.
Everyone can understand the challenge of wanting everything out of life and struggling to keep a lot of plates spinning. With “L!Fe Happens,” every principle of romance and comedy comes crashing to the ground.
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