Even being cloying and manipulative takes a certain level of competence and effort, and losing two hours to a film that falls short of even those goals hurts. "Life or Something Like It" is one such picture, a film neither bitter nor sweet, neither romantic nor comedic, neither warm nor fuzzy, a film whose "You go, girl!" moments are more likely to make you go to sleep, girl. Angelina Jolie is Lanie Kerigan, an up-and-coming Seattle TV-news reporter with a professional-athlete boyfriend and a vacuous outlook on life. During an interview, Prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub), a homeless prognosticator, predicts that Lanie will be dead in a few days. This stunning revelation throws Lanie into a low-key re-examination of her values that renders her marginally less superficial, and prods her to ponder ditching her ruggedly handsome boyfriend for her ruggedly handsome cameraperson, Pete (Edward Burns). As if that weren't proof enough of her transformation, Lanie starts doing freakishly impetuous things like supporting a group of striking transit workers and listening to (sterile, WHFS-esque) punk rock. Think "Scrooged," minus Bill Murray and Christmas
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