Life or Something Like It

Subscribe to Angelina Jolie alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th April 2002

Box Office USA: $14.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $16.9M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox, Regency Enterprises

Reviews 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 28%
Fresh: 34 Rotten: 87

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew


Starring: Angelina Jolie as Lanie Kerrigan, Edward Burns as Pete, Tony Shalhoub as Jack, Christian Kane as Cal Cooper, Melissa Errico as Andrea, Lisa Thornhill as Gwen, Stockard Channing as Deborah Connors, Gregory Itzin as Dennis, Max Baker as Vin, Christopher Shyer as Mark Laughlin

Life or Something Like It Movie Review

Like a gift-wrapped tennis racquet, director Stephen Herek's Life or Something Like It reveals most of its secrets with the packaging. The contrived tagline of "Destiny Is What You Make Of It" screams "Feel Good Movie," and sure enough a brief tour of Herek's resume uncovers dreamers (Mr. Holland's Opus), overachievers (Rock Star) and time-traveling prophets bearing the benevolent message, "Be excellent to each other" (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure).

But I like Herek - a sort of populist Cameron Crowe - because he specializes in dreams and dreamers, yet still understands enough about pacing and characterization to prevent his films from drifting off into the stratosphere before they reach their natural conclusion. He may be light, fluffy and conventional, but his films contain an unforeseen element of stability and (as a result) respectability.

Life seems that much better with a particularly radiant Angelina Jolie in the lead role of Lanie Kerrigan, a Seattle newscaster who's being considered for a position on a Today-style national morning show in New York City. On a whim, Lanie asks a popular street urchin, Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub), if she'll get the job, and he informs her that she won't ... not because she lacks talent, but because she's destined to die in a week.

What follows is a well-traveled path of personal analysis and change, life alterations and monumental decisions made by a girl who believes she's in the home stretch. Since the opening scene shows Lanie on the surgeon's table, we're already aware of the outcome to a certain extent. But as the film progresses, it becomes less and less about Jack's prediction, and more about Lanie's effort to prevent its fulfillment. If she happens to find love along the way with the handsome cameraman she once shunned (Edward Burns), so be it.

Life may be pre-packaged goodness, but it's served warm by a director comfortably basking in the glow of his preferred genre. As in his previous films, Herek coaxes fine performances from his entire cast. Burns may be a one-trick pony, but his trick serves this story well. Shalhoub is even permitted one scene to convince us Jack is eccentric, but not irrational. It's a welcome attempt to sidestep what could have been a generic portrayal.

And then there's Jolie, who's dazzling and effervescent in her most carefree, comedic role to date. How beautiful she can be when she loosens up, lets down that unnaturally bleached-blonde hair and behaves like a (gasp!) 25-year-old. Without the baggage of being "Angelina," the star finally glows brightly. In her hands, Herek's latest dream quest becomes a celebration of life... or something like it.

The DVD includes a commentary track from Herek (and that's it!).

A party... or something like it.


Subscribe to Angelina Jolie alerts


Life or Something Like It Rating

" Good "


More Angelina Jolie

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...


Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...