September 17, 2011
Review - " I Don’t Know How She Does It "
(in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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I Don’t Know How She Does It
Directed by: Doug McGrath
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg
Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Seth
Meyers, Olivia Munn, Jane Curtin, Busy Philipps, Sarah
Shahi, Jessica Szohr, Emma Rayne Lyle
Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a wife and working
mother of 2 children—a six year old daughter and a 2-
year old son. The movie begins with Kate’s co-worker
speaking directly to the viewer (breaking the fourth wall)
about how she believes Kate handles the responsibility of
being a working mother.
The film quickly moves into the life of a much disheveled,
multi-tasking mother who attempts to balance the fine line
between work and home. Kate has a job at a high-
powered investment firm that requires a lot of overnight
travel. The movie clearly depicts the imbalance in Kate’s
life as mother, and highly effective employee at work.
These roles begin to clash as Kate is shown arriving late
to her daughter’s school on her day to volunteer, leaving
Thanksgiving dinner to handle a situation at work, making
excuses for being late to work, and her 6-year old
daughter being resentful about Kate’s frequent absences
from home; the list goes on.
Kate’s loyal and very patient husband Richard (Greg
Kinnear) gets a promotion on his job, so that Kate can
work less, and spend more time with the family. However, Kate also takes a promotion, which is an awesome opportunity for
her career—but terrible timing for the family. In addition, the new promotion requires Kate to work very closely with her
attractive and single boss Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan). As you might assume, the whirlwind begins, and things quickly
begin to spiral out of control.
The movie is based in Boston, and the cinematography is great. It has scenes and backdrops that give the viewer the warm
and cozy feel of the Northeast states during the fall.
The movie shows the reality of the
challenges of the working mother.
I Don’t Know How She Does It plays
it safe when it comes to the subject
of women balancing family life and a
career, but that’s okay – it succeeds
at being nothing more or less than
cute, feel-good entertainment. The
ending, which decency prevents me
from describing in detail, came as no
surprise to me. This isn’t to say it
bothered me; as long as it’s done
well, a tidy conclusion is a welcome
distraction from the drudgery of
reality. Despite the fact that it can’t
be taken too seriously, “I Don’t Know
How She Does It” is a light, pleasant
little film. The actors give relatively
decent performances, the premise is
engaging, and it has a lot of humor