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Movie Review

Imagine being told you have one week to live. That bombshell gets dropped on Seattle TV reporter Lanie Kerigan (Jolie) when she interviews a scruffy street prophet in Life or Something Like It. Skeptical at first, Lanie is forced to consider her mortality after other predictions come true.

The days ahead contain both capricious behavior (junk food, drunkenness, cigarettes, an on-air obscenity, etc.) and healthy soul-searching. Lanie reexamines her relationships, including a lifelong schism with her sister and the perceived disapproval of her father. She even cuts loose her superficial fiancé. Meanwhile, childish sparring with her flannel-clad, womanizing cameraman, Pete (Burns, oozing the charisma of a young Richard Gere), leads exactly where the audience might expect—into bed. The two develop a warm bond just in time to have it face a life-altering test.

Life or Something Like It features some very special moments. Lanie tries to heal family wounds. Pete (a divorced dad) is deeply committed to being part of his son’s life. The film suggests that God is real by making His prophet "authentic." And the payoff finds career-oriented Lanie, after landing her dream job in New York, counting the cost and deciding that loved ones are more precious than fame.

If only the film hadn’t sold out to society’s amoral obsession with sex. Lanie and her fiancé live together and allude to a history of phone sex. A female coworker is proud of her one-night stands. And although Lanie calls Pete "hedonistic," she gives herself to him. A dozen or so profanities add to the disappointment. Some good times, some bad times. That’s Life.

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Angelina Jolie as Lanie Kerrigan; Edward Burns as Pete; Tony Shalhoub as Prophet Jack; Christian Kane as Cal Cooper; Stockard Channing as Deborah Connors


Stephen Herek ( )


20th Century Fox



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Bob Smithouser

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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