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Blu-ray Review: L!fe Happens (2011)

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The tagline of L!fe Happens — a rom-com about a single twentysomething mother and her wacky misadventures in the Land of Love that can only come about from having a bastard child following a night of unprotected sex with an Australian fellow — reads “A Comedy That’s a Real Mother.” Frankly, they couldn’t have been more spot-on with that assessment. Indeed, the people that brought us this giant turd of a film didn’t dare entitle their film Sh!t Happens, because it would have been truth in advertising — which is something we clearly can’t have in this day and age of awful romantic comedies that do nothing but suck your very soul from your being.

And L!fe Happens does indeed attempt to swallow your soul. Fortunately for me, I have seen so many of these lousy movies that I no longer have any soul for the demons behind this flick to take.

Ha — take that, rom-com devils!

OK, onto the film. After a fateful one night stand of promiscuous sex, Kim (Krysten Ritter) finds herself with child. She’s also with roommates; two very moronic roommates as played by The O.C.‘s Rachel Bilson (as a virgin), and Kate Bosworth as Kate Bosworth. Attempting to juggle her work life in-between her duties as a negligent, why-don’t-they-make-people-take-IQ-tests-before-they-permit-them-to-be-fertile mother, Kim has very little time for gettin’ some from the boys — as they all run away screaming when they find out she has a baby-thing (a feeling I’m well familiar with, as I also tend to scare off people of the opposite sex — even before I tell them I’m a father).

When Kim meets some jock fellow, however (played, coincidentally enough, by Some Jock Fellow), she almost begins to consider growing up. The moral of the story here, I’m sure, is that it’s OK to get pregnant from unprotected one night stands with strangers as you’ll eventually find that one man out there that doesn’t mind raising someone else’s kid. Or something like that. Justin Kirk also stars as a hipster douchebag, Kristen Johnson shows up in several scenes to remind us why we’re all glad she’s not on TV anymore, and a low-key Seymour Cassel pops up in a minor role as Ritter’s faux father — or “faux-ther,” if you will.

Weirdly enough, the one performer in the whole damn who emerges from this mess with any dignity whatsoever is American Pie‘s Jason Biggs — who gets some fairly prominent billing in the film (and on its artwork) for only making a glorified cameo appearance.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings us this atrocity to Blu-ray in a transfer that is OK overall, but not overly worth note. Of course, that’s probably due to the film itself. No, scratch that: a film with this low of a budget ($930,000!) isn’t going to look super, but Universal manages to deliver some fairly vibrant colors and decent contrast all-around. It’s a somewhat murky presentation at times, though, and there’s a bit of grain here and there. To sum it up: look at the subject matter, note the budget, do the math.

Accompanying the film is a DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack that brings out the mostly dialogue-driven clatter, with additional noise pollution provided by a slew of annoying songs that actually manage to make the audio mix do something (mostly give you lots of boom-boom, bass-oriented stuff). Luckily enough for all who would have the misfortune of laying their eyes on this disaster, the list of special features for this forgettable fray with fiction are limited to a selection of previews for other, potentially more-interesting titles.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.
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    Bitter, party of one. I hate when critics aren’t tasteful. There are ways of showing your opinion without sounding like a bitter 12 year old.