Life or Something Like It

lifeposter

2002
Angelina Jolie, Ed Burns, Tony Shaloub

Fabby has recently purchased one of those HD tee vees and now she can see things that she never noticed before, like: small pox marks, hair highlighters, crows feet, etc. It’s a revelation!

The movie I’m reviewing today did not get good reviews (total score 28% on rotten tomatoes)
but Fabby likes it anyway.

Lanie Kerrigan (played by Angelina Jolie before Brad, heck I think even before Billy Bob) is a newscaster at a local Seattle, Washington tv station. She’s blonde, eats nothing but lettuce, works out constantly to keep her tiny figure and is career driven. She lives with, and is engaged to, Seattle Mariner baseball player Cal Cooper.  Cal is cute but shallow and dense. This arrangement works out well because Cal is never home.  When they are together, they go to dinners and other local social events. One day Laney’s boss tells her, to her delight,  the national network is looking for someone new and he’s sending them one of her tapes to review. For Lanie, life is perfect and perfect is defined as a great job, great man, great apartment and great hair.

In the mean time, the network sends her to interview a local prognosticator Prophet Jack (he’s a street person who shares his prophesies literally on a grocery box for small change in downtown Seattle). He’s played by the fabulous Tony Shaloub who’s great in anything: Nurse Jackie, Men in Black, Monk) Laney hates the camera man she’s sent with to do the story, who’s listed only as Pete. He’s played by Edward Burns, not to be confused with Edd “cookie” Burns.  Edward Burns is charming and cute but he only dates and/ or marries models in real life, but I digress.  Pete knows his way around the ladies, lots of ladies, and this makes Lanie say “ewwww”. Pete and Laney lobby insults at each other (Pete: Who else can film her like she’s a natural blond?, Laney (to Pete): How’s bachelorette number three? Ha Ha Ha) Laney asks Prophet Jack if she will get the tryout at the network. He tells her no and that she will die in seven days. EEeeeeks.

Lanie is thrown into a week of introspection.  She looks to her fiance, friends and family for advice but they are not any help. At this point in the film Cal Cooper kind of disappears with no explanation, I think this is called a hole in the plot. Lanie gets soused and shows up late for work the next day tousled and in messy clothes and still a little drunk.  She interviews striking bus drivers and leads them in a rousing chorus of “Satisfaction” .  She later wakes up in Pete’s house and he tells her she passed out in his truck. Pete shows her that her tv spot with the striking bus drivers is all over the national news.  Laney is mortified and is sure her career is over.

Laney finds she can talk to Pete about what’s troubling her and decides to spend the day with him. This includes a visit from his young son, a son whose existence Laney was unaware of. Pete tells her he gave up his network job in New York to move to Seattle to be near his son. Laney realizes she has misjudged Pete and is charmed by him. The next day, Pete and Laney go to work together but instead of getting fired, Laney finds out she got a try out for the network job. She’s thrilled and asks Pete to go with her but he thinks that Lanie’s ambition will never be satisfied and he won’t be separated from his son so he turns her down.

Laney thinks that since she got the network tryout, Prophet Jack’s foretelling of her death is null and void.  She finds out that she will be interviewing her idol, Deborah Conners.  Deborah Connors is a cross between Barbara Walters and Oprah.  Her trademark is to ask bold and personal questions which make her interviewees dissolve in tears. Lanie has a list of questions for Deborah Connors but instead asks her if she regrets not getting married or giving up a personal life for fame and fortune. Ms. Connors is taken aback and finds herself dissolving in tears. The interview is a success and Laney is offered the job. Meanwhile, back in Seattle, Pete visits Prophet Jack and realizes his phrophecies are real. He tries to reach Laney to warn her but can’t reach her on her cell phone or at the network so he hops a plane for New York.

Will Laney take the job? Does she die? Can Pete save her? Will we ever see Cal Cooper again? To find out you’ll have to watch the movie.

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