If you go to a movie theater to see Sarah Jessica Parker in her new film I Don't Know How She Does It, you might be predisposed to be on the wife/mother/working woman's side. However after about an hour of the main character's whining, you might add "and I don't care" to the title. At least that is how it struck me.
In the film, Kate Reddy (Parker) is woman, hear her roar. She is a loving wife to Richard (Greg Kinnear) and devoted mother to daughter Emily (Emma Rayne Lyle) and son Ben (Julius/Theodore Goldberg). She is also a career woman and good at it; so good that her boss sends her from Boston to New York to work with a key client Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan). The trips to New York add double anxiety to Kate's life as she already feels inadequate as a wife and mother.
The problem with the movie is the unlikability of Kate. She doesn't come across as someone who would succeed in business as she is giddy and whimsical. She obviously has some serious thoughts but there are other times where she is hysterical and less than bright acting. Perhaps she is projected this way in order to make her more like women who will view this film but instead she comes off as someone you would never recognize.
Kate wants to be all and have it all and that is just impossible. If she wants children then someone is going to have to look after them. If she wants to have a good marriage then she must have some time to devote to it. And if she wants to be a good employee then she has to have time for her job. Common sense would say she has to make some choices, but Kate decides to choose everything.
The men in the movie are shadow persons. Kinnear is never a force in Kate's life. He is just someone on the edge who doesn't seem to help her very much. Brosnan is the businessman who appreciates Kate as a "team" player and for being appealing -- to him. Kelsey Grammer plays her boss, a man who doesn't appreciate Kate until it is almost too late.
The most fascinating person in the film is Olivia Munn who plays Kate's assistant Momo. She has a mystique about her and keeps saying how she doesn't want it all. Christina Hendricks plays a pal of Kate's but you never get a real feel for who her character is.
The film is rated PG-13 for profanity.
It is doubtful many women will identify with Kate and her pell-mell rush through life. Life is about choices and most women choose a way to live where they can enjoy at least a portion of their lives. Whiny Kate chooses everything and mostly loses out everywhere. She may still be afloat as the movie ends but let's get a look at her life five years down the road.
I scored I Don't Know How She Does It a don't care 4 out of 10.
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