Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Life As We Know It

Peter Iovino/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Review in a Hurry: Goo goo gag gag. Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel star as bickering singles who become reluctant caregivers to an orphaned infant girl. Overly long Life has a few cutesy moments but is basically a rom-com genetically engineered by development execs.

The Bigger Picture: As by-the-numbers as baby's first paint set. As formulaic as a nipple-bottle of Similac. As...well, you get the idea.

In a Battle of the Pepsodent Smiles, pretty caterer Holly (Heigl) and hunky network-sports director Eric (Duhamel) go on a disastrous blind date set up by mutual friends. The lady and the cad can't stand each other, so guess who's gonna be rocking the crib—and by "crib" I mean "bedroom"—before the movie's over.

When the aforementioned friends die in an accident, Holly and Eric learn they've both been named as guardians for goddaughter Sophie. So they attempt to put their differences aside and move into the dead couple's Atlanta home to raise the tiny toddler. Right...

What follows are regurgitated scenes from any baby movie: harried adults being puked on, changing poopy Pampers, feeding/bathing the fussy tot, struggling with strollers, etc.

Of course, Eric grows to love Holly and his new role as Sophie's dad. And Holly has to ultimately choose between romance with Eric—or with Dr. Right, handsome pediatrician Sam (Josh Lucas, showing off his natural Southern accent). Semi-spoiler alert: Can we please place a moratorium on eleventh-hour dashes to the airport?

Life is aimed at the Lifetime crowd, who will "Aww" at all the baby antics and swoon at all the shots of Duhamel putting on/taking off his shirt. The pic seriously overplays the man-candy jokes, with every straight woman and gay man drooling like newborns at the sight of him.

Yes, he and Heigl are easy on the eyes and generate a few sparks. But Life, with its steaming pile of plot contrivances and predictable gags, has all the freshness of a discarded diaper. 

The 180—a Second Opinion: Y'all, Melissa McCarthy is a hoot as a busybody belle with a dash of Sugarbaker-style sass. Speaking of, watch for a brief cameo by Designing Women's Jean Smart.

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