REVIEW: INTO THE DARK – I’M JUST F*CKING WITH YOU

I'm Just F*cking with You (2019)

Starring

Keir O’Donnell (American Sniper)
Hayes MacArthur (Life As We Know It)
Jessica McNamee (The Meg)
Charles Halford (Constantine)

Hayes MacArthur in Into the Dark (2018)Larry is a loner who styles himself as an internet troll. When he checks into a motel to attend a friend’s wedding, he meets the nighttime caretaker, Chester, who is a self-styled joker (possibly with a capital “J”), being really into bad jokes as well as messing with people’s heads for a laugh. After the jokes start becoming more intense and go too far, Larry and his sister start to wonder if Chester is really who he says he is.Pooka-10If you have social anxiety, this could very well be a triggering film. From the germophobic troll Larry to the not-sure-what-his-deal-is-but-has-an-infectious-smile Chester, the film has believable characters that have depth a strange way. While it seems you think you know everything about these characters quickly, you actually learn enough to get the story going but there are many hints at more depth in them. Also, the characters actually evolve as the film progresses, something that I’m finding to be an increasing rarity and when it’s done, you’re usually beaten over the head with it. Here, the evolution feels natural given the circumstances.ITD_IJFWY_SEW_21292RHere’s the thing: This is a low-budget, small-cast indie film that does exactly what a film is supposed to do. It’s written impeccably, kept simple so as not to introduce plot holes, has actual story structure, dynamic characters, and can actually make the audience feel a little edgy even with tongue firmly in cheek. It reminds us that the horror/thriller can be fun and even funny. I haven’t seen other entries of “Into the Dark,” but I’m probably going to remedy this very soon.

REVIEW: THE BABYMAKERS


CAST

Paul Schneider (Lars and The Real Girl)
Olivia Munn (Zoolander 2)
Michael Yurchak (Bearfest)
Wood Harris (As Good as It Gets)
Kevin Heffernan (Super Troopers)
Constance Zimmer (Agents of SHIELD)
Nat Faxon (Reno 911)
Aisha Tyler (Balls of Fury)
Hayes MacArthur (Life as We Know It)
Miles Fisher (Superhero Movie)
Noureen DeWulf (Anger Management)
M.C. Gainey (Lost)
Lindsay Kraft (Veep)
Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2)
Bill Fagerbakke (How I Met Your Mother)
Marc Evan Jackson (The Good Place)
Rick Overton (Willow)

The Babymakers is another unfortunate example of a decent premise mired by poor execution. What could have been a witty, observant human comedy was instead turned into a vulgar, juvenile gag fest. It involves, as the title makes perfectly clear, a lot of crude references to genitalia, sex, masturbation, conception, and semen, the latter prominently featured in a scene where Heffernan knocks over canisters of sample-filled test tubes. The slippery contents spill all over the floor, and because he’s slathered in the stuff, he finds that he can’t stand up or keep his balance. A scene like this is a waste of humor. It would have been better spent on the ups and downs of trying to get pregnant, the prospect of parenthood, and dealing with the shame of malfunctioning equipment. In other words, it would have been better spent on characters and situations that were in some way grounded in reality.

Taking place in Los Angeles, we meet a man named Tommy (Paul Schneider), who finally agrees with his wife, Audrey (Olivia Munn), that it’s time for them to have a baby. An explicit montage shows nine months worth of unsuccessful pregnancy attempts, and when word gets out, everyone and their uncle comes to Tommy with fertility advice. Tommy doesn’t believe that he’s the one with the malfunctioning body; unbeknownst to Audrey, he paid for her wedding ring several years earlier with the money he earned donating to a local sperm bank. Obviously, his donations wouldn’t have been accepted had he been shooting blanks. But a visit to a fertility doctor makes it clear that, since that time, his sperm count has lowered. Facing a life without a child, his only option is to return to the sperm bank and buy back his donations.

But as fate would have it, all but one has been used. Complicating matters further, the one that remains in cold storage has been sold to a gay couple, who Tommy unsuccessfully tries to reason with. Desperate, he turns to his friends, Wade (Heffernan) and the perpetually wonky Zig-Zag (Nat Faxon), and they all decide that they will break into the sperm bank and steal the last of Tommy’s samples. Hired to mastermind the heist is a flagrant walking stereotype named Ron Jon (Chandrasekhar), whose claims of once being affiliated with the Indian mafia are dubious at best. He initially envisions an elaborate robbery in multi-panel views a la modern-day spy thrillers, but he instantaneously revises his plan when he’s reminded that he can simply pick the lock of the back door.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a comedy if things didn’t go wrong, and boy, do things go wrong. There’s a subplot involving a series of nude photos of Wade’s current girlfriend (and Tommy’s ex-girlfriend), and there’s the prospect of Audrey somehow learning about Tommy’s past affiliation with the sperm bank. We also have a few brief scenes with Audrey’s arrogant ex-boyfriend, who has since gotten married, and even the topic of adoption comes up. None of this was especially offensive, but it was all rather juvenile, strained, and hopelessly predictable.

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: MERRY HAPPY WHATEVER – SEASON 1

Merry Happy Whatever (2019)

Starring

Dennis Quaid (Midway)
Bridgit Mendler (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel)
Brent Morin (Undateable)
Ashley Tisdale (Scary Movie V)
Siobhan Murphy (Murdoch Mysteries)
Adam Rose (Veronica Mars)
Elizabeth Ho (Fifty Shades of Black)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Troopers 2)

Dennis Quaid and Garcelle Beauvais in Merry Happy Whatever (2019)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Garcelle Beauvais (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Tyler Ritter (Arrow)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Kimberley Crossman (Power Rangers Super Samurai)

Merry Happy Whatever (2019)After following in the footsteps of the TV movie Christmas romcom, Netflix charts a new course through the seasonal snow with Merry Happy Whatever, the first scripted Christmas TV series. The format makes perfect sense, as the last weeks of December are jam-packed with situations that are just ripe for comedy. The setup is one you’ve seen in countless holiday movies and one-off sitcom episodes before: a boyfriend (Morin) travels back home with his longtime girlfriend (Mendler) to meet her intimidating dad (Dennis Quaid), all of her siblings (Ashley Tisdale, Hayes MacArthur, Siobhan Murphy), and all of her in-laws (Tyler Ritter, Elizabeth Ho, Adam Rose). While this is a concept you’ve seen before in a comfortable multi-cam format, there’s a new twist in that every episode is a Christmas episode.60d6bfce-d263-43c7-96f3-89c9eb70e562-mhw_105_unit_01435_rThere’s a reason why Merry Happy Whatever drops on Thanksgiving: it is tailor-made to be a big family binge-watch. In fact, watching Merry Happy Whatever manages to feel just like going home for Christmas–in all the cozy and some of the awkward ways.How you feel about Merry Happy Whatever will largely depend on how you feel about the multi-cam sitcom and the big personalities and set-up/punchline formula that MHW enjoys. I, for example, love their storied history and am always rooting for them to succeed. The choice to go multi-cam also makes perfect sense considering the target audience: this is a format that literally everyone in the family is familiar with, whether they never missed an episode of The Big Bang Theory or grew up watching I Love Lucy, Mary Tyler Moore, Friends, or the million kid-coms on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. It’s lowest-common-denominator, but honestly, that’s what wins out when you’re back home for the holidays.merry-happy-whateverBut Merry Happy Whatever also works if you’re not in unfamiliar territory, surrounded by your in-laws and a pack of toddlers and dogs. For anyone that’s moved away from home, the show manages to make you feel like you’re back where you came from. That’s largely thanks to the cast, who take the crystal clear family dynamics of Tucker Cawley’s script (himself a veteran of Everybody Loves Raymond) and bring them to life. The first episode does a solid job of setting up immensely relatable family conflict that feel worth spending a whole season unpacking. The in-laws commiserate over marrying into a family that’s a Pepsi-loving, “G-rated cult,” and patriarch Don (a perfectly stubborn Quaid) refuses to let anything wreck his family traditions, especially the arrival of his daughter’s nervous and nerdy boyfriend Matt (Morin).61faa280-10fc-11ea-a7aa-45e901af2227_800_420Morin and Quaid have a great onscreen dynamic, one (obviously) reminiscent of Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents. Morin, previously the lead of NBC’s Undateable, easily transcends the “nervous and nerdy” description I just tagged him with. The nervous outsider who keeps goofing up role is a tough one, one that so easily veers into annoying territory. That doesn’t happen with Morin, who is low-key affable throughout and whose nerves are justified because Quaid is so intimidating). But just like any family get together, there are moments in Merry Happy Whatever that’ll make the more liberal members of the audience go “Wait, what?” I’m particularly thinking of a scene where Sean (MacArthur) reacts to what he thinks is his tween son coming out of the closet. Sean’s wife, played with heartfelt snark by Elizabeth Ho, barely flinches and offers the unwavering support that we’ve come to expect from these kinds of scenes in 21st century sitcoms, but Sean’s response is tinged with the kind of discomfort, played for laughs, that was par for the course in the ’80s. It’s jarring, especially because it feels like Merry Happy Whatever thinks Sean’s flash of fear when he thinks his son may be gay is actually funny and not just the literal definition of homophobia. But y’know, what’s a trip home for the holidays without a dose of discomfort? It’s accurate!MV5BYWU3ZWJlYmMtOTFmNy00OGE2LWEyMGYtNjgwNTgyNDEzZWM2XkEyXkFqcGdeQTNwaW5nZXN0._V1_UX477_CR0,0,477,268_AL_The entire cast is a real gift, all with clearly defined personalities set up to create sparks. Of particular note is Siobhan Murphy as older sister Patsy, whose suburban cheeriness seems to hide a bit of sadness, and Ashley Tisdale’s borderline bratty little sister who’s in full-on crisis mode. But Elizabeth Ho, fresh off of Netflix’s Disjointed, gets some of the best lines in the episode, playing the blunt ringleader of the seen-it-all in-laws.8658eb90-11a2-11ea-8827-85e5c6e9935d_800_420Whether or not you’ll like Merry Happy Whatever as a solo viewing experience largely depends on your feelings about multi-cam as a format. But with a cast and creator as experienced as this, Merry Happy Whatever is definitely a STREAM IT for everyone that’s spending time with family this holiday season.

REVIEW: PUSHING DAISIES – SEASON 2

CAST

Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Anna Friel (Limitless)
Chi McBride (Human target)
Ellen Greene (Little Shop of Horrors)
Swoosie Kurtz (Mike & Molly)
Kristin Chenoweth (Bewitched)
Jim Dale (Carry on Columbus)
Field Cate (Space Buddies)

Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Missi Pyle (Mom)
French Stewart (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Autumn Reeser (Sully)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderfalls)
Peter Cambor (Forever My Girl)
Sy Richardson (Colors)
Sammi Hanratty (Shameless)
Rachael Harris (Lucifer)
Lee Arenberg (Waterworld)
Daeg Faerch (Halloween)
Hayley McFarland (Lie To Me)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
David Arquette (Scream)
Debra Mooney (Everwood)
Dana Davis (Heroes)
Hayes MacArthur (Life As We Know It)
Stephen Root (Barry)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Fred Willard (Anchorman)
Kerri Kenney (Wanderlust)
Ethan Phillips (Star Trek: Voyager)
Josh Randall (Ed)
Patrick Fischler (The Finder)
Beth Grant (Childs Play 2)
Eric Stonestreet (The Loft)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Mary Kay Place (Youth In Revolt)
Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Ivana Milicevic (Running Scared)
George Segal (2012)
Willie Garson (Supergirl)
Constance Zimmer (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Robert Picardo (The Orville)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Wendie Malick (The Ranch)
Nora Dunn (2 Broke Girls)
Wilson Cruz (13 Reasons Why)
Joey Slotnick (Nip/Tuck)
Josh Hopkins (Cold Case)

Anna Friel in Pushing Daisies (2007)There’s no mistaking Pushing Daisies for any other show on TV. Every episode features new supporting characters, new locations and new mysteries, but all of them fit into creator Bryan Fuller’s whimsical, playfully sideways universe. The show bundles romance and comedy with tragic undertones, and flavors it with musical numbers, synchronized swimming routines, magic tricks and murder.The show’s second–and sadly abbreviated–season features 13 episodes, each loaded with more ideas than other series turn out in a full season. By the time you finish The Complete Second Season DVD set, you’ll have walked the hexagonal offices of a honey empire, covertly played poker using a Chinese restaurant’s elaborate code, walked through secret passageways in a nunnery and witnessed a traveling aquatics show that actually makes a traveling aquatics show seem appealing.Anna Friel and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)Lee Pace stars as The Pie Maker, aka Ned, who has a mysterious ability to bring the dead back to life by touching them. If he touches them again, they die. If he doesn’t return them to their eternal slumber within a minute, a life-form of equal size has to die in their place. In the pilot episode, he brought back the love of his life, his childhood friend Chuck (Anna Friel), damning the consequences. Now she lives with him in hiding near his the restaurant The Pie Hole, but they can never touch each other.Anna Friel, Chi McBride, and Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies (2007)While owning, operating and baking for a pie shop would no doubt be a taxing full-time job, Ned has a secondary source of income that takes up most of the show’s time. He temporarily wakes the dead for Private Investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) to uncover clues to murder mysteries. Of course, the victims–revived from a variety of comically gruesome deaths–never quite provide the information needed to easily solve the case, and Cod, Chuck, Ned and Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), the Pie Hole’s plucky waitress, have to fill in the blanks. The shows are generally based around one mystery, with overarching main threads stretch through the series. The writer’s strike owns much of the blame for the failure of Pushing Daisies, and for the relatively slow start to season two. The show was earning a respectable audience after its debut, but only produced nine episodes before pencils went down. ABC decided not to order any extra episodes after the strike, leaving the show off the air for nearly a year before. By the time it returned, it had lost much of its momentum, and failed to regain its audience, prompting a premature cancellation.Kristin Chenoweth in Pushing Daisies (2007)While the two shortened seasons combine to equal a full season’s worth of episodes, both feel fragmented. It’s apparent that the writers felt the need to reboot a bit and reiterate some points to ensure its audience was up to speed. And while the opening episodes of season two are entertaining, it takes about four episodes for the series to really start charging forward. Episode 5, “Dim Sum Lose Some” begins a fantastic five-episode arc involving Dwight, a sinister man played by Stephen Root with a friendly demeanor that makes his intentions all the more mysterious. Not just a great character in his own right, Dwight triggers an avalanche of story that leaves you longing for the next episode, even after no more are left. An old friend of Chuck and Ned’s fathers, Dwight wants to locate Ned’s, who abandoned The Pie Maker as a child and started a new family.Chi McBride and Debra Mooney in Pushing Daisies (2007)Dwight’s prodding leads Ned to finally meet his twin half-brothers (Alex and Graham Miller), who were also abandoned by Ned’s father. The sixth episode, centering around the twins’ mentor’s magic show, is one of series’ funniest, and features memorable guest appearances by Paul F. Tomkins and Fred Willard. But the twins, along with many other characters, never reach their potential. Due to the show’s premature end, it’s inevitable that all the story threads don’t tie up satisfactorily. Indeed, the final episode essentially ends with a cliffhanger before it awkwardly segues into a quickie ending that was cobbled together in the editing room. It’s a shame too, as the long-term story had become quite promising, especially the intriguing hints about Ned’s father and developments surrounding Chuck’s dead father. Unfortunately, fans of the show will have to be happy with what they have.

 

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 4

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul Blart Mall Cop 2)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Regis Philbin (Shrek The Third)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Virginia Williams (Fuller House)
Dan Lauria (The Spirit)
Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Dark Ride)
Krista Kalmus (Veronica Mars)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Adam Paul (One For The Money)
Courtney Ford (Legends of Tomorrow)
Candace Moon (Speed Demon)
Will Sasso (Mom)
Erin Cahill (Power Rangers Timeforce)
Kim Kardashian West (2 Broke Girls)
Amy Gumenick (Arrow)
Eileen Seton (Dakota Skye)
Jordan Masterson (Last Man Standing)
Frances Conroy (Catwoman)
Brooke D’Orsay (Two and a Half Men)
Laura Prepon (That 70s Show)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Troopers 2)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
David Burtka (Neil’s Puppet Dreams)
Italia Ricci (Supergirl)
Bill Fagerbakke (Spongebob Squarepants)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons)
Ron Roggé (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)

Jason Segel and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The Ted-Robyn relationship provided much of the ongoing story arc for the first three seasons; In season Three Ted embarked on a romance with Stella (guest star–and Scrubs regular–Sarah Chalke) that provides that year with a cliffhanger–will she accept Ted’s marriage proposal? Well, spoiler alert, she does. But this stroke of happiness for our Ted is short-lived; their rushed wedding, in episode five, ends with Stella leaving Ted at the altar following a reconciliation with her ex. Bruised and a little battered, Ted spends the remainder of the season mostly playing the field; this year’s will-they-or-won’t-they involves not Robin and Ted, but Robin and Barney, who slept together at the end of season three, leading to–shockingly and alarmingly–a genuine flush of romantic feelings by the notorious womanizer.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Regis Philbin, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)By this point in its run, How I Met Your Mother has settled into a comfortable routine, and I mean that in a good way; the show is in the character-comedy mold of Seinfeld and Friends (its two clearest influences), and like those shows, the situations get funnier, the more familiar we are with the characters. The series’ ingenious structure and inventive narrative tricks also continue to entertain; the hopscotching timelines of the “Three Days of Snow” and “The Front Porch” episodes are outstanding, while the clever flashbacks of “Sorry, Bro” build to some big laughs. Other standout episodes include “I Heart NJ,” which perfectly encapsulates the love/hate relationship between island-dwelling New Yorkers and commuters from the Garden State; “The Best Burger in New York,” a fine portrait of New York foodie-ism (and how to best utilize a Regis Philbin guest shot); and “The Stinsons,” which reveals one of Barney’s more peculiar secrets.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Sarah Chalke, Jason Segel, and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)But the season’s finest episode, without question, is “Murtaugh,” centered on Ted’s “Murtaugh List”–i.e., a list of things that would fall under Danny Glover’s Lethal Weapon catchphrase, “I’m getting too old for this shit” (the replacement of “shit” with “stuff” in the story that aged Ted is telling his children is a particularly nice touch). It’s a funny idea (and dovetails nicely with the season-long running theme of aging; there’s 30th birthdays all around this season), well-developed, and the episode’s B-plot includes an homage to Teen Wolf, so what else could you ask for? Radnor and Smulders, continue to develop into engaging, charismatic comic actors. Hannigan and Segal’s chemistry remains one of the show’s biggest assets. But Harris’ Barney Stinson remains the show’s comic gold mine, and the skilled thespian uses the season-long Robin crush to lend some additional pathos to the character. His desperation reaches a fever pitch in the wonderful “Benefits” episode, in which new roommates Ted and Robin end up sleeping together to end domestic arguments, leading jealous Barney to start dropping by with groceries and pitching in on household chores–all the better to keep tempers smooth and to keep the “friends” out of each other’s pants.Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)How I Met Your Mother remains one of the most consistently, reliably funny series on network television. Season four finds the show continuing in fine form, taking its characters in interesting new directions and providing its talented cast with a prime showcase for their crackerjack comic skills.

REVIEW: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – SEASON 3

Starring

Josh Radnor (The Hunt)
Jason Segel (Sex Tape)
Cobie Smulders (Avengers: Endgame)
Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl)
Alyson Hannigan (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Bob Saget (Full House)

Neil Patrick Harris, Mandy Moore, Josh Radnor, and Amanda Loncar in How I Met Your Mother (2005)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass)
David Henrie (Paul BLart Mall Cop 2)
Mandy Moore (This Is Us)
Enrique Iglesias (Two and a Half Men)
Danica McKellar (The WOnder Years)
Busy Philipps (The Smokers)
Christine Woods (Flashforward)
Neil Jackson (BLade: The Series)
Melissa Ordway (Ted)
Brad Rowe (Perception)
Janet Varney (You’re The Worst)
Abigail Spencer (Cowboys & Aliens)
Betsy Rue (My Bloody Valentine)
John Cho (Star Trek)
Charlene Amoia (American Pie: Reunion)
Jim Jansen (A.I.)
Phill Lewis (Heathers)
April Bowlby (Doom Patrol)
Orson Bean (Innerspace)
Wayne Brady (Colony)
Stephanie Faracy (Sideways)
Hayes MacArthur (The Babymakers)
Kristen Schaal (Gravity Falls)
Britney Spears (Crossroads)
Sarah Chalke (Scrubs)
Marshall Manesh (Will & Grace)
Dawn Olivieri (Bright)
Bryan Callen (The Hangover)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave)
James Van Der Beek (Varsity Blues)
Alan Thicke (Growing Pains)
Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness)
Will Forte (The Lego Movie)
Darcy Rose Byrnes (Desperate Housewives)
Floriana Lima (Supergirl)

Alyson Hannigan, Enrique Iglesias, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)After a successful first two seasons, How I Met Your Mother dives into new (and old) territory by continuing the story of five New York friends. Season three has a similar tone to past seasons with a great mixture of comedy and drama. The main characters continue to go through the ups and downs of life. Notably, there are stories about the aftermath of the Ted-Robin breakup, Marshall and Lily experience life as newlyweds, Marshall passes the bar and goes to work, Barney learns something about his past and sleeps with a lot of women, and more. It is a very fun season with Neil Patrick Harris continuing to steal the spotlight.Danica McKellar, Busy Philipps, and Josh Radnor in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The season opens with “Wait For It…”, which addresses a couple storylines. Towards the end of season two, there were a couple shifts in the romances. Ted and Robin called it splitsville, but remained friends. Robin went on vacation to South America. In season three, Robin comes back with boyfriend Gael (Enrique Iglesias). The introduction of Gael causes complications for Ted, Robin, and the rest of the gang. As the season continues, Ted slowly gets his life back together and the idea of Robin not being an important part of his life. The other key development from the season premiere dealt with Marshall and Lily. They got married at the end of season two and are now a happy couple that still shares an apartment with Ted. As the season progresses, they consider new living situations, which include a crooked house. Included in this development, Marshall passes the New York bar and gets a job as a real life lawyer. His dream job is complicated by the decision of saving the environment or providing for his family. Lily has a surprise in store for him that makes the decision easy. John Cho guest stars as one of Marshall’s boss.Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, and Cobie Smulders in How I Met Your Mother (2005)The season has many other big developments. Barney gets a case of “The Yips”, where he loses his confidence with women. Barney learns that his first time with cougar Rhonda was not as good as he was led to believe. Afterwards, he doubts his ability to please women. Ted joins him on a few escapades, which include acting as tourists, a wild St. Patrick’s Day, and more. Ted also embarks on a relationship with Stella (Sarah Chalke), which gets pretty serious. Robin dates an old flame played by an overweight James Van Der Beek.Alyson Hannigan in How I Met Your Mother (2005)Overall, season three is exciting, hilarious, and just all around fun. There are a lot of dramatic developments that are supplemented with lots of great laughs. Fans of the show will not be disappointed.

REVIEW: LIFE AS WE KNOW IT

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CAST
Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up)
Josh Duhamel (Transformers)
Josh Lucas (Hulk)
Christina Hendricks (Firefly)
Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids)
Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly)
Sarah Burns (I Love You, Man)
Will Sasso (Less Than Perfect)
Majandra Delfino (Roswell)
Jean Smart (Garden State)
Hayes MacArthur (Super Troopers 2)
Josh Lucas (Hulk)
Rob Huebel (Baywatch)
Holly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) is the owner of a small Atlanta bakery, and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel), known as “Messer”, is a promising television technical sports director for the Atlanta Hawks. Their best friends Peter (Hayes MacArthur), an attorney, and Alison Novak (Christina Hendricks) set them up on a blind date that goes horribly wrong, and results in both hating each other. As the years go by, Peter and Alison get married, and have a baby girl named Sophie Christina, and select Holly and Eric as godparents of Sophie. They have become friends, but still tease and banter with each other.
After Sophie’s first birthday, Peter and Alison die in a car crash. Holly and Messer learn that in their friends’ wills, they were named Sophie’s joint guardians. Holly and Messer must put their differences aside and move into Sophie’s home to care for her. Living together proves to be a struggle. One night, Holly leaves Sophie with Messer while she covers an important catering job – the same night that he is given the opportunity to direct a big basketball game. Messer takes Sophie to the game, but she constantly distracts him with her crying. When they get home, Messer and Holly argue, but later they make up.
Holly meets Sam (Josh Lucas), Sophie’s pediatrician, and finds herself attracted to him. They arrange a date, which is cut short when Messer calls to tell Sam that Sophie has a high fever. Sam and Holly go to the hospital, and Messer sees Holly kiss Sam. As the two guardians continue to care for Sophie, they discover that raising a child is much more expensive than they had expected, and Holly can no longer afford to implement her plans to expand her business. Messer offers to invest in her company, and eventually Holly agrees. To cement the new relationship, they decide to go on a date. They end up having sex and begin to develop feelings for each other. Their Child Protective Services caseworker, who has previously advised them against getting involved, tells them they must make a firm commitment either to stay together, or break up. Anything in between would be bad for Sophie. Messer is offered a job in Phoenix, Arizona, and he seriously considers taking it up, as it has been his dream for several years, but doesn’t discuss it with Holly. Holly is upset when she finds out and tells him to take the job, accusing him of looking for a way out of raising Sophie. Messer goes to Phoenix.
At Thanksgiving Messer returns to Atlanta, hoping to patch things up with Holly (who is hosting a big dinner for neighbors and friends), but finds her in a relationship with Sam. Messer and Holly argue, because Sam mentions Holly is planning to sell the house soon, since it is too expensive to keep up. Messer insists it was Peter and Alison’s wish that Sophie be raised in their home, by them together. Holly consistently accuses Messer of deserting her and Sophie, while Messer points out how quickly she replaced him. Messer tells her he loves her, but leaves the dinner, planning to return to Phoenix. Once alone with Holly, Sam says that if he and his ex-wife had fought in the way that Messer and Holly did, they would still be together. He tells Holly it is obvious she needs to work out her feelings for Messer, and leaves.
The caseworker comes for the last appointment to determine whether Holly and Messer are fit parents for Sophie. Holly realizes that she can’t take care of Sophie without Messer, and that she loves him. She and Sophie drive to the airport with the caseworker. Holly rushes to buy tickets for all three of them to gain access to the departure gate, but on arriving at the gate, finds that they have missed Messer’s flight, which has departed. She returns to the house disappointed. To her surprise, she finds him sitting inside. He tells her he has realized that Peter and Alison chose them to be Sophie’s guardians because, together, they are a family. At Sophie’s second birthday party, all the neighbors and friends in attendance. Holly has made an elaborate cupcake display for Sophie, as well as another cake with the number 1 on it. When Messer asks what the cake is for, she says, “It’s for us, ’cause we made it a year.” They kiss. The guests sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Sophie.
Not just any romcom this was funny and heart warming (with some sadder moments). Obviously not the film for those who love action, but this film was well written, with some mildly intelligent plot lines and touches. I thought it was well acted on the whole, all of the actors were very funny.