Movie Review: I Don’t Know How She Does It

Sarah Jessica Parker’s newest film is a dramedy that has her portraying a very normal workaholic, busy mom.  I Don’t Know How She Does It is based on a successful novel by Allison Pearson.  The story is very relatable to just about every career woman who is also a mom in America, granted this family makes more money than the average American family.

Sarah Jessica Parker plays Kate Reddy, a banker who also is married mother of two.  Her husband Richard is played by Greg Kinnear.  Richard’s career has taken a backseat to Kate’s career and her work schedule.  He is often asked to drop things to take care of the kids while Kate is away on business trips.  Richard and Kate do employ a nanny to take care of their youngest child while both are at work.  The nanny (Jessica Szohr) is not the most reliable person, but Kate does not want to confront her with any problems.  Things get more complicated when Kate develops a investment plan that is picked up for development by high-powered Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan).  The development process requires a lot more time and traveling than Kate was doing before, but it is a huge career opportunity that she cannot pass up.  This is the point in the story where things become stressful for Kate and start to cause problems with Kate, her husband, and her family.

I was not expecting much from the film.  It looked like a film that would probably attract an audience when it came out, just not a record-breaking audience.  The trailer looked entertaining enough.  Sarah Jessica Parker has not been on a good streak lately with the films she has been in.  I have to say that I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.  Sex and the City fans will be reminded of the series when they see the film.  I Don’t Know How She Does It breaks down the wall between the actor and the audience.  Kate has a running narration in the film and she also steps out of her story to address the audience.  The film also has interviews with the costars about the events in the film or their lives.  It was a little odd at the beginning, but it added something different to this type of movie.

Sarah Jessica Parker overacts a lot in this film.  But in her defense, it was needed for how this film was approached and told.  As mentioned already, I still see Carrie Bradshaw just about every time I see Parker on screen.  She really needs to do something not funny like a dark drama to distance herself from Sex and the City.

There is quite a supporting cast for this film.  Some actors had relatively small parts like Kelsey Grammer, Seth Myers, Jessica Szohr, and Jane Curtin.  I do not know why Busy Phillips had such a large part in the film.  She plays a well to do mother who does not work, and is an arch enemy to Kate.  Considering she only interacted once with Kate in the film, she had quite a lot of screen time conducting an interview.  Christina Hendricks plays a single mom who is best friends with Kate.  Her character opens the film and occasionally adds something to the scenes as Kate’s life plays out.  The hands down best part of the film is Olivia Munn as Momo, Kate’s assistant at the bank.  She is witty, hilarious, and dead pan as Momo.  Every single time she was on screen, there was a laugh.  Sometimes the laughter was so loud that I could not hear the rest of what she was saying.

The film is going to speak well to working moms.  It deals with some very real world issues.  Kate loves her job, but realizes that she is missing out on her family and her relationship with her husband is suffering as well.  I admire how the story turned out in the end.  The film does not play to the stereotypical American family values.  The film speaks volumes about the hard working mothers in today’s society.  Whether or not it intended to, it also shines positive light on feminism.  Why can guys have a career and a family, but women are expected to focus more on their family than on their careers?

I Don’t Know How She Does It is a good flick.  It is going to do well with the mom segment of the population.  Guys are probably not going to want to see this.  I can see them being dragged on dates to see it with their wives and girlfriends.  It has its funny moments.  The real heart of the film is how it portrays Kate as a woman who wants it all.  The road to success for Kate has a few bumps in the road, but she is determined to make it.  The film is one of the few that stand out for me that portray a modern woman who gets what she wants and still has the great husband and family in the end.

I give I Don’t Know How She Does It 3 “Lice Treatments (ew!)” out of 5.

by Sarah Ksiazek

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