Mature parenting/dating comedy lacks substance, laughs.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that L!fe Happens is a very uneven indie comedy about a young single mom who's trying to establish a career and meet a decent guy while taking care of her baby. She and her best friends (all roommates) are navigating the Los Angeles singles scene, which leads to plenty of sex talk and a few passionate encounters (expect some loud noises and partially clad characters groping, though no actual nudity). Characters also drink and swear ("f--k," "s--t," etc.) frequently, and they don't always make smart choices when it comes to parenting, friendship, or relationships.
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What's the Story?
Kim (Krysten Ritter), Deena (Kate Bosworth), and Laura (Rachel Bilson) live together in Los Angeles as they attempt to carve out their careers. Active in the dating and hook-up scene, their lives change when Kim gets pregnant after ceding the last condom in the house to Deena one fateful night. A year later, Kim is a mom to a chubby cheeked cutie. With baby Max's father nowhere in sight but her friends by her side, Kim tries to juggle motherhood and work -- she's the assistant to a celebrity dogwalker -- and, when time allows, dating. Meanwhile, Deena and Laura take turns babysitting and living their own freer, less responsible lives. But when Kim meets an appealing guy (Geoff Stults) at a bar, she finally takes a breath to acknowledge the impossibility of it all.
Is It Any Good?
L!FE HAPPENS is a downer, not because it's depressing -- single motherhood is, in fact, presented here like a zany, wacky adventure -- but because it lets viewers down in so many ways. Take the actors, who are trying their best in the face of material that labors too hard. It's a pity even Bosworth isn't enough to rescue this vehicle.
The plot has the potential to be interesting, but the execution is woefully tin-eared. The setups with Kim ostensibly being "charmingly" candid about what a killjoy having a baby can be for a single woman looking for love aren't charming at all, or even edgy for that matter. They're just annoying. And the ending? You can spot it mountains away.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Kim's responsibilities. How does she juggle parenting, dating, and work? Do you think she's doing a good job? How does she compare to other young, single moms you've seen in movies or on TV shows?
What's important when you're looking for a potential partner? What mistakes do the characters in L!fe Happens make? Are they realistic?
How does the movie depict sex? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
- In theaters: April 13, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: August 28, 2012
- Cast: Kate Bosworth, Krysten Ritter, Rachel Bilson
- Director: Kat Coiro
- Studio: Dot Dot Dot Productions
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content including references
- Last updated: January 14, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Poignant family dramedy with lots of adult themes.
Classic '80s comedy with some salty language, racy scenes.
Brilliant teen-pregnancy comedy, but iffy for kids.
Raunchy but tender comedy about sex and parenthood.
For kids who love offbeat movies
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