With her unconventional looks, actress Krysten Ritter has often been cast as the best friend. The fair-skinned beauty with the jet black hair has appeared in that role in films like "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and "She's Out of My League." Sometimes you just have to take the initiative when it comes to scoring the lead. That's what we have here with "Life Happens" or as it is officially titled, "L!fe Happens." Along with actor/director Kat Coiro, Ritter co-wrote the film, which mines the always hilarious topic of unplanned pregnancy.
Kim (Ritter) and her best friend, Deena (Kate Bosworth), are ready for a wild night of sex, but only have one condom between the two of them. Deena snatches the last prophylactic, leaving Kim to "raw dog" it with an Australian surfer (Rhys Coiro). A year later, Kim is a single mom with a son named Max and a job as the assistant to Francesca (Kristen Johnston), a wealthy socialite with an aversion to children. Kim tolerates Francesca's abrasive attitude in the hopes she will invest in her idea for a shopping mall catering exclusively to dogs. She also has a hard time meeting guys, who are all scared off by the mere sight of a baby.
While partaking in the trendy nightlife of L.A., Kim meets a handsome fellow named Nicolas (Geoff Stults). Afraid of losing another one, she tells him that Max is Deena's son. Now, Kim has to balance her professional life with motherhood and a personal life built around a seemingly harmless white lie.
"L!fe Happens" labors its way through a story riddled with clichés and strained attempts at humor. The movie tries way too hard to earn its R-rating with raunchy humor in an effort to copy the lucrative Apatow formula. One sequence sees Kim lactating on Nicolas during intercourse while the dialogue leaves us with gems like "douche-nozzle," although, they earn bonus points for making a reference to "The Night Porter." There's hardly any chemistry between Ritter and Stults, plus there is a distinct lack of wit to their banter. The filmmakers also shoehorn in a third roommate played by Rachel Bilson. She's one of those indie characters who is quirky for quirky's sake. Bilson is a proud virgin forced to work humiliating jobs as a lingerie wearing valet or a human sushi platter. The rest of the screen time is filled out with a B-story involving the smart, feminist Deena romancing one of Nicolas's idiot friends. Never mind that the entire movie is nullified by the simple act of stopping by a 24-hour CVS.
The only time I managed to perk up during "L!fe Happens" was a random appearance by Seymour Cassel in the very minor role of Kim's grandfather.
The video is presented in 1080p with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The transfer is sharp with bold colors and natural skin tones. The picture quality doesn't suffer from the usually flat look that plagues most direct-to-video movies
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Aside from the opening titles that see Kim and Deena rock out to Chamillionaire's "Ridin Dirty," the film is mostly dialogue so the sound isn't immersive, but even and crystal clear.
If you're wondering how "L!fe Happens" stacks up against "Knocked Up," "Juno," or even "Baby Mama," the answer is not very well. "L!fe Happens" lacks the humor and the heart of those pictures