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I Don’t Know How She Does It

Reviews

Reviewed by: Rebeca Surber

Director: Douglas McGrath

Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan

Movie: 5/10

Overall: 5/10

I have not read the book I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, and after watching the movie of the same title, the chances of that happening in the near future are slim. In fact, I’m guessing if I had read the book, I probably would not have dragged my adorable husband to the theater to see this ho-hum chick-flick.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear in I Don't Know How She Does It

Kate (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a hard-working mother with two sweet children and a super charming husband, Richard (Greg Kinnear).  When Kate has the opportunity to advance in her investment banking career, she attempts the impossible juggling act of being there for her children and family while being fully committed to her time consuming work.   She does all of this while fighting the ‘working mother stigma’ bestowed upon her from ‘The Momsters’ and overcompensates at work for time she wants to spend with her kids.

The title of this movie is used a lot in reference to Kate having both a career AND a family. That phrase is uttered with a sigh and a side to side head shake, and immediately I think of all the strong, powerful, talented, hard working mothers and wives who manage this feat of balancing work and family on a daily basis and instantly I am  irritated with this movie.

Sarah Jessica Parker in I Don't Know How She Does It

The comical moments, while plenty, seemed very generic and unoriginal. Insert, send email to wrong person joke here. Or, oops, I’m caught adjusting my pantyhose when the boss arrives for a video conference call there… Come on! Give me something new and fresh! The movie was predictable and even though there were entertaining and tender scenes, I never felt totally connected to anyone in the movie. Even with the relatable moments and ‘oh I have been there before’ scenarios I never felt sympathy for Kate like I should have as a viewer.

 For a film with a flawed script and story, the filmmakers did a superb job with their casting. Sarah Jessica Parker did a good job (despite the poor script and story). You could see love and tenderness when she talked about her kids, the panic she felt when one was hurt and sadness of missing a first haircut. She conveyed the love she felt for her job and the guilt she carried for finding a career that took her from her family so frequently.  Greg Kinnear as Kate’s better half was perfect, and not just because the script wrote him that way. One cannot help but like him and feel the frustration his character has for the way his driven wife handles her workload.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan in I Don't Know How She Does It

Olivia Munn was by far my favorite supporting actor in this film. As Momo, the über -workaholic who wants nothing to do with marriage or children, she is sleek and precise. Her delivery is spot on and the discomfort she feels around anything maternal adds the right touch of comedy to scenes that would have been dull. The small moments we see of Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live), Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), and Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) were good but I felt like they could have been utilized more. Meyers and Philipps had the exact amount of smugness needed to make their characters fun to watch.   Lastly, Pierce Brosnan was his usual dapper self as the investment banking big-wig, Jack.  For some reason I somewhat expected him to have the same allure he displayed in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR or to have more of a powerful corporate tone to him.  Instead he did not do anything special with his performance, except look good in his high priced suits.

Overall this chick-flick has slightly entertaining moments but is nothing more than mediocre.

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