Love complicates things for teens and adults in this week's top DVD picks. In 'Life As We Know It,' Katherine Heigl plays Holly Berenson, an up-and-coming caterer, and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) plays a self-centered, promising network sports director, who meet on a blind date from hell but must figure out a way to co-exist with each other when their best friends die and leave them in charge of their 1-year-old daughter, Sophie. When 16-year-old Craig (played by Keir Gilchrist) checks himself into a five-day stay at a mental health clinic in 'It's Kind of a Funny Story,' he thinks he's just going to get a respite from his overbearing parents and his unrequited love for a high school girl. But all bets are off when he meets patient Bobby (Zach Galifianakis). Read on.
'Life As We Know It'
What It's About: Katherine Heigl plays single-woman entrepreneur Holly Berenson looking for a soul-mate; Josh Duhamel plays devil-may-care TV network sports director Eric Messer who's searching for nothing more than a good time and one-night stands. Set up on a "blind date" by their mutual best friends, it's hate-at-first sight for the duo, who unfortunately are thrown together over the course of a couple years as they attend their friends' wedding, parties and the birth of their daughter. But fate intervenes -- when their mutual friends die, they become the guardians for orphaned one-year-old Sophie. Now, Holly and Eric must learn to live with each other and juggle their promising careers -- and change their lives -- in order to take care of the little girl.
It's Kinda Like: 'Baby Boom' for the 21st century
What We Say: This predictable romantic comedy -- they meet, hate each other, are thrown together under a stressful situation, come to grips with their awkward relationship, fall in love and then get separated again -- plays cute from the get-go all the way to its pat ending. It's pure fluff from start to finish -- with tears at just the right places and laughs called for, also at all the right places -- but who the heck can complain about watching gorgeous and talented Heigl or hunky and talented Duhamel for two hours? Not me.
• Extras: Two behind-the-scenes featurettes, one with Heigl, one with Duhamel; as well as a tongue-in-cheek 'Survival Guide to Instant Parenting.'
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue
Watch 'Life As We Know It' trailers
The Ridiculous Road to Romance: 'Life As We Know It' and Other Romantic Comedies
Girls on Film: Katherine Heigl's Rise to Diva
'It's Kind of a Funny Story'
What It's About: Keir Gilchrist plays 16-year-old Craig, a stressed-out teen who checks himself into a mental health clinic for what he hopes will be some down time in the youth ward. But the kids floor is full and Craig instead finds himself stuck in the adult ward, where he meets a cast of eccentric characters, headed up by Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), who soon becomes Craig's mentor and protege. The youngster also falls for the troubled but sensitive Noelle (Emma Roberts), who's also stuck on the adult ward. It's a warm-hearted and funny coming-of-age tale as Craig learns more than he thought he could about life, love and the pressures of growing up.
It's Kinda Like: 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' meets '(500) Days of Summer'
What We Say: This is more adult than teen-oriented comedy, despite the demographic of the lead character. And that works just find, as youth-on-the-cusp-of-growing-up themes give writers and filmmakers a ripe canvas on which to paint their pictures about the trials and tribulations of love, sex, sanity, maturity, reality and, of course, growing up ... i.e., what it means to be human in our crazy modern world (actually, it hasn't much changed for a millennium). It's been a good year for these types of movies, including 'Greenberg' and 'The Kids Are All Right.' Galifianakis is particularly inspired here, stepping away from his bath-room humor roles in 'The Hangover' and 'Due Date' for more substantial, nuanced craziness.
• Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue
Watch 'It's Kind of a Funny Story' trailers
Best in Blu-ray: 'Amarcord,' 'Thelma & Louise,' 'River Runs,' 'Repo Chick'
Other New February 8 DVD Releases:
'Beauty & the Briefcase': Hilary Duff stars in this light comedy about a bright, ambitious journalist who has to date as many men as possible for a Cosmo article on "Switching Careers to Find Love."
'For Colored Girls': Tyler Perry's adaptation of Ntozake Shange's acclaimed choreopoem, 'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf,' an unforgettable portrait of what it means to be a woman of color in the modern world.
'The Girl': In the summer of 1981, a 9-year old girl is left behind in her aunt's care while the rest of her family goes to Africa as aid workers. But the aunt goes away with a man, leaving the girl alone to discover the world around her in this 2009 Swedish drama.
'I Spit on Your Grave' (1978) and 'I Spit on Your Grave' (2010): A woman wreaks revenge on the men who debased her by tracking them down and slaughtering them in horrific ways.
'Middle Men': An ordinary businessman gets involved with gangsters and adult entertainment at the dawn of the age of the Internet and finds himself caught between a 23-year-old porn star and the FBI, all the while becoming one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs of his time. Stars Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Gabriel Macht, James Caan, Jacinda Barrett.
'My Soul to Take': Wes Craven is back at again and he wants to scare the heck out of you -- as always. In the sleepy town of Riverton, legend tells of a serial killer who swore he would return to murder the seven children born the night he died. And he does.
'Paranormal Activity 2': Prequel to 2009's horror phenomenon. After experiencing what they think are a series of "break-ins", a family sets up security cameras around their home, only to realize that the events unfolding before them are more sinister than they seem.
'Repo Chick': Alex Cox's non-sequel to his 1984's 'Repo Men.' Here, a spoiled rich girl takes a job as a repo chick and soon becomes the best in the world; she soon gets involved in repossessing a train that is being used by a terrorist organization to destroy Los Angeles. The entire film was shoot against a green screen with models standing in for sets. Weird.
'See You In September': Comedy about a young commitment-adverse woman whose therapist is away on vacation for the month of August and who forms a support group for people who feel abandoned by their shrinks, who also have taken off the month of August.
'Shopping' (1994) is director Paul W.S. Anderson and actor Jude Law's big-screen debuts. The film revolves around British hooligans who use cars to crash through posh store windows to steal everything they can grab. The police called it "ram-raiding" while the kids called it "shopping." Uncut.
'Wild Target' stars Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint and Rupert Everett in a British thriller about a middle-age hit man (Nighy) who tries to retire but gets waylaid -- and into trouble -- when he falls for his intended hit (Blunt).
'You Again': Shrill comedy has successful PR pro Marni (Kristen Bell) heading home for her older brother's wedding only to discover that he's marrying her high school arch nemesis. Then the bride's jet-setting aunt (Sigourney Weaver) bursts in and Marni's not-so-jet-setting mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes face to face with her own high school rival. The filmmakers had to throw in Betty White to get some laughs.
Check out other new February 8 DVD releases at OnVideo.
More about movies on Blu-ray DVD