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8.25 out of 10

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Don't Know How She Does It

Sassy and Silly

Director: Douglas McGrath
Writers: Aline Bropsh McKenna, Allison Pearson
Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Kelsey Grammer, Chrstina Hendricks, Olivia Munn

I Don't Know How She Does It movie stillWatch Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Trailer Now

SYNOPSIS: Kate Reddy is a busy and bustling business woman with a ambitious career and hectic home life. When both she and her husband get major projects at work, Kate is forced to make hard choices between work and family.

REVIEW: Douglas McGrath, writer and director of Infamous and Nicholas Nickleby, takes a script from 27 Dresses and The Devil Wears Prada scribe Aline Brosh McKenna by the novel from Allison Pearson to bring us a funny and heartfelt look at the perils of working mothers.

Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a mother of two and a banking executive who juggles her work and home life so that neither side suffers - too much. Her husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) supports her decision to continue her career as a financial executive while he struggles to get his own architectural firm new business and profitable. Enter Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan), a financial market powerhouse interested in both Kate's proposal and in Kate. Working long and late hours on numerous business trips out of town, the delicate juggling act that Kate has perfected to keep all of her projects suspended in the air starts to falter causing facets of her life to start dropping through the cracks, mostly notably her husband and children. Can Kate make the right choices to keep both work, family and friends fulfilled?

Sarah Jessica Parker, McGrath and McKenna break the fourth wall of the silver screen to allow Kate to speak to herself and to the audience directly throughout the film. From hand-written lists projected on Kate's bedroom walls at 3:30 in the morning, to Kate stopping the film to speak to the filmgoer directly, to having other characters talk to the camera in a documentary format, I Don't Know How She Does It is a funny, but real look at working mothers everywhere, two-income families, and the limits of what one person can achieve before spreading herself too thin to the detriment of those she cares about.

Sarah Jessica Parker exudes a more mature version of her Sex in the City counterpart, Kate being sassy, funny and compassionate. At her side at home is Greg Kinnear's Richard, at once supportive and obvious to all that his wife gets done in a mere 24 hours in a day. Adding to the cast are the always dapper Pierce Brosnan as the executive Jack Abelhammer that Kate starts working closely with, Mad Men's Christina Hendricks as Kate's best friend Allison Henderson, and Olivia Munn as Kate's hard-working, but stoic co-worker Momo Hahn. Lastly, you have Seth Meyers as opportunistic co-worker Chris Bunce and Busy Philipps as Wendy Best, head of the rich, stay-at-home Momsters who feign friendship while hating everything that a working mother stands for.

From a daughter disappointment in her mother's broken promises because of work, to the ultra-vigilance by Kate to keep her emails to her boss as professional as possible, I Don't Know How She Does It is sweet, funny and a real look at the trials and tribulations of women with careers and families. I know many women know how they personally juggle family and careers, and will appreciate what they see.

SPOILER NOTE: Two major distractions I had with the sneak peek of the film were the overly obvious sound stage car trip scene between Kate and Jack, and the snowflake bubbles used at the end of the film between Kate and Richard that clumped in Kate's hair during their reunion dialogue.

WORTH: Matinee or Rental

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