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Life or Something Like It /

Rated: PG-13

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Edward Burns, Tony Shalhoub, Christian Kane, Stockard Channing 

Directed by: Stephen Herek 

Produced by: Arnon Milchan, John Davis, Chi-Li Wong, Toby Jaffe, Ken Atchity 

Written By: John Scott Shepherd, Dana Stevens 

Distributor: 20th Century Fox


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     Life or Something Like It has a good concept, but is terribly fitted by a horrendous screenplay. I enjoyed some of the scenes, as well as Angelina Jolie’s performance; but the film as a whole is lacking in many areas. The plot stars a woman named Lanie Kerrigan who is a hard-working newscaster for a popular station. She is set to be happily marries to a professional baseball player, and is in store for a promotion that will allow her to report to a broader audience, on a more highly rated network. Everything is going perfectly for her.

     Her “life” is moving in the right direction, but it makes a wrong turn when she enters an interview, which she later regrets taking, though it does better her opinion on morals and values. In the interview, she talks to a homeless prophet who says that he is able to talk to god, enabling him to see the future. He offers his predictions on a sporting event and the weather forecast. These prophecies were outlandish, but turned out to be true, the team that he favored won the game, and hale fell from the sky the next morning.

     These two predictions were not the only ones that he made, there was one more. He predicted that Lanie would die seven days from the day of the interview. The man who put her up to interviewing the prophet claimed that the predictions accuracy levels were simply coincidences with the actual events, but she believed otherwise. For the next few days she decided to find the real meaning of life, and succeeded. The few cherished moments she had in those few 24 hour periods to add to her null collection were some of the best ever. But in the middle of it all, the network chooses to grant her the promotion that she had been anxious to get, and her chaotic lifestyle starts back up again. Are these stressful ways she lives by a real explanation of life, or just “Something like it?”

      This actual theme of the story presents quite a touching feel, but the screenplay that presents it is boring, tired, and repetitive. What are the chances that a prophet is going to stumble upon a reporter who would soon be dying? The screenplay is illogical and has no philosophy, it has no morals itself whatsoever. The emotionally shallow Lanie Kerrigan could’ve been written by a couple of kindergarteners, and it’s a miracle that Jolie was able to make such a poorly done character so magnificent to watch. She holds the entire film together, and it’s amazing that she chose this material over all of the other scripts that came flying into her office . Who would ever guess that she and Warner Brothers, two very big names in the movie business, would go for such terribly written crap? I certainly wouldn’t have.

     Life or Something Like It has some interesting parts, and is never painful, but  isn’t exactly the best stuff in the world to watch. It is an enjoyable rental, but otherwise, I wouldn’t bother. Upon reflection, I am able to say that it is of T.V. movie quality, and could’ve benefited by going directly to HBO, though it had to be theatrically released for economical reasons. I wasn’t tremendously pleased with the end result, though it is not horrible. If there is nothing else left on the shelves in the local Blockbuster, Life or Something Like It is worth checking out, and is an okay way to spend a Friday night.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews


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