I had the very unusual, not-often-does-it-happen, chance to watch another non-kids’ movie last week. The movie was “Life as We Know It” and the rating from my end, at least, was definitely two thumbs up. Completely contradictory to the critic reviews online, the movie was pleasant enough, leaving me with a warm and fuzzy after-feeling like one of those must-cuddle-with-Snuggie-and-cup-of-coffee-in-hand holiday movies. Not to mention the cute actor who could easily turn quite a few heads (I’m talking about the baby in the movie—although the leading man wasn’t half-bad either).
So, what gave this movie with the same ole’ romcom storyline a compelling enough hook? The entire premise of the movie is based on the idea of countering unexpected change. Change, when you don’t see it coming, can be scary, but often leads you towards paths you never dreamed you’d follow. Deviating from the usual and the expected course, whether you want to or not, can be incredibly cathartic and literally life changing. With a little divine intervention, the unexpected can be the exact track you were meant to follow in your life.
I don’t want to fill this post with spoilers in case you decide to check this movie out, but suffice to say that one of the most compelling aspects of the movie is the message that good things often come after tragedy--- even if it takes you awhile to figure that out. There is a common Muslim saying: “With hardship, comes ease.” It’s a little like the grey cloud/silver lining proverb but takes that concept a step further by mandating that you need to look for the ease in order to identify it.
The nicest part of the movie, without a doubt, lay in its predictability-- even though it was ironically all about change. There is still something to be said about finding comfort in familiarity bred by a movie that sticks to the winning formula of “guy gets girl” or “girl gets guy” after quite a few travails that are overcome by love, patience, and acceptance. Now that’s one nice feel-good Hollywood ideal not in need of any changing at this particular moment. J-Suzy Ismail