Starring: Katherine Heigl, Josh Duhamel, Josh Lucas
Directed by: Greg Berlanti (“The Broken Hearts Club”)
Written by: Ian Deitchman (debut) and Kristin Rusk Robinson (debut)

The cuteness factor might be at an all-time high, but with parenthood reduced to montages of changing poopie Pampers and dodging projectile peas, even a pair of the most squeezable baby cheeks can only get “Life as We Know It” so far.

In “Life,” first-time screenwriters Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson try to give the film some emotional substance, but end up padding the narrative with so much predictable nonsense you’ll long for the days when Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck were on diaper duty.

After impressing audiences in Judd Apatow’s 2007 comedy “Knocked Up,” Katherine Heigl has since made a handful of regrettably dreadful choices by starring in “27 Dresses,” “The Ugly Truth,” and “Killers.” She looks to find her footing in “Life” playing Holly Berenson, a bakery owner whose life is thrown into a tailspin when her best friends Peter and Alison die in a car accident and leave Holly to raise their only child, Sophie.

If that wasn’t difficult enough, Holly has been named as a co-guardian for Sophie along with Peter and Alison’s other friend Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), a TV sports director whom she’s only tolerated over the years because they shared Peter and Alison as mutual friends. A bad date the two had years prior was just enough for Holly to recognize their incompatibility.

Now faced with the responsibility of raising a child, the two must learn to get along while living under the same roof and providing a stable home for Sophie (played here by triplets Alexis, Brynn, and Brooke Clagett) all while anticipating surprise visits by a no-nonsense social worker who is watching their every move.

“Life as We Know It,” could have worked if it has simply stayed honest about the situation at hand. Instead of capturing a genuine look at just how difficult raising a child would actually be under these circumstances, director Greg Berlanti (“The Broken Hearts Club”) lets Heigl and Duhamel stir up the schlocky sentiment. “Life” ends up pandering in the most formulaic ways possible and hits all the standard romantic comedy plot points even the average filmgoer could see coming from a mile away.

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