When one uses the term “life happens,” it’s usually a coy indication of something interesting or perhaps even a little lascivious that has occurred. Whether that occurrence was had negative consequences or fortunate results can obviously vary depending on each situation. When it comes to the new film L!fe Happens, the results are neither interesting or fortunate.
It seems like Kim (Krysten Ritter, who co-wrote the script with director Kat Coiro) and Deena (Kate Bosworth) certainly know how to be the life of the party, which is proven on a nightly basis in the Los Angeles home they share. But when they both scramble for the last of the communal condoms one night, life literally happens when Kim gets knocked up by an Australian surfer who doesn’t stick around for long after their son is born. While Deena is still actively hanging out and hooking up, Kim’s newfound maternal duties make it difficult for her to keep up, which causes her to resent her longtime friend.
Kim’s resentment only gets stronger as Deena’s writing career begins to flourish and their much more chaste roommate Laura (Rachel Bilson) lands a spot on a reality show for virgins over the age of 21 (OK, that part is actually kind of funny). Stuck in a dead-end dog-walking job with aspirations of opening a dog mall (an idea just as stupid as it sounds), things seem a little bit hopeful when Kim meets Nicolas (Stacy Keibler‘s ex-boyfriend Geoff Stults), a hunky guy as socially awkward as Kim. But she screws that up pretty quickly, providing even more reason for self loathing.
While this sounds like the impetus for a potentially zany comedy, the results are less than conclusive. Despite the events that happen in L!fe Happens, it misses several opportunities to be as clever as it would like to be. The interaction between the characters just feels, I don’t know, phony, and there is hardly any actual interaction with the baby despite his presence in almost every scene. The biggest problem with L!fe Happens is it doesn’t feel like life is happening at all. Instead, it feels like you’re watching actors act (and it often feels like they barely had time to learn their lines before the camera started rolling). By the time the “happily ever after” conclusion arrives, you probably won’t even care about what happens to any of these dimensionless characters, let alone how cliched the whole thing turns out.
L!fe Happens. Directed by Kat Coiro. Starring Krysten Ritter, Kate Bosworth and Rachael Bilson. Rated R. www.lifehappensfilm.com.