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I Don't Know How She Does It (Je ne sais pas comment elle fait) (Bilingual)
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The archetypal single gal from Sex and the City dives into family life in I Don't Know How She Does It. Kate Reddy, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, could easily be Carrie Bradshaw's alternate life: a rising finance analyst, Kate feels guilty for short-changing her husband (Greg Kinnear) and two children. When she gets the opportunity to work with a high-powered exec (Pierce Brosnan), the already tense family relationship gets stretched to the breaking point and Kate has to make some hard choices. I Don't Know How She Does It is pure formula, but executed well. The entire cast (also including Christina Hendricks as a single-mom best friend, Kelsey Grammer as an overbearing boss, Seth Meyers as a sniping rival, and a scene-stealing Olivia Munn as Kate's assistant) play their parts with skill, while Parker's rapport with Kinnear is particularly warm and persuasive. Moreover, you have to admire the sheer chutzpah of hammering home political points about double standards in the workplace and then delivering a fairy-tale ending. Men have realized the importance of family over work in dozens upon dozens of cookie-cutter heartwarming flicks; apparently it's time that women got the opportunity to do the same. No doubt this signifies some important cultural shift; college theses are waiting to be written about it. --Bret Fetzer
- A Conversation with Best Selling Author Allison Pearson
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Parker has a seemingly idyllic life with her husband (an underutilized Greg Kinnear) and two kids. She manages to be wildly successful at work even though she embodies every negative cliche about working mothers that you can possibly imagine. She shows up late, always has food stains on her clothes, is in perpetual disarray, and generally just bumbles about. That's okay, she's a mother (with a full time child care worker no less) so it's expected that she would be a harried mess. When she accidentally sends sexually suggestive emails to an important client, it's endearing (when in reality, who would do business with a "professional" who can't even manage their personal emails?) Never mind that Parker is completely unconvincing, the film has plenty of others to insult. All of the men at work are dismissive and/or conniving. Again, what decade is this? Women have been a part of the workforce for quite some time now! But the most loathsome portrait of all is saved for stay-at-home moms. They are vindictive and judgmental harridans who occupy their days with selfish pursuits instead of working.
Parker relies, as always, on her nervous energy and clumsiness to mine for physical comedy. She's such a hugely talented actress, though, I'd like to see her dig a little deeper for a change. There's no reason why she isn't among the best in her field. Kinnear brings an easy charm to his largely unexplored second fiddle role. And Pierce Brosnan (as the previously mentioned client who works with Parker on a huge project) has a refreshing deadpan that enlivens the scenes that he's in. Even he gets smitten by the lice-ridden Parker. Why not? There are moments in "I Don't Know How She Does It" that are amusing, but the film strains for sentimentality as well. If you think that Miss Parker can't have it all, well then you underestimate her pluck. There are a lot of humorous movies that detail the challenges of working women and mothers everywhere (whether in central themes or peripheral plotlines). "I Don't Know How She Does It" misses the mark with its sexist and dated viewpoints--and worse, its stale jokes. I liked Kinnear and Brosnan, but the screenplay could use a real dose of tartness and reality. KGHarris, 12/11.
1) Super mom has better organizing skills than most people.
2) SJP has no trouble lying.
3) She takes short cuts.
4) SJP totes half of the world's possessions in her bag.
5) She has both an educated nanny and husband who support her.
That is how she does it.
Everyone in the movie will look into the camera and say "I don't know how she does it." SJP's character's name is "Kate REDDY." Get it? Her arch rival among the other mommies is Wendy BEST. These authors could write porno with imaginative names like that. We could name the husband "Richard Reddy" wink wink nudge nudge. Oh, they did!
Sarah is struggling to keep up with everything when her job requires her to travel from a Hollywood version of Boston (one where no one has an accent) to NYC even though they have wide screen teleconferencing. Her idea is to develop a retirement account for seniors built upon foreign high dividend paying stocks.
I wasn't able to laugh at this comedy. I found out that if a woman signs her e-mail "XO" that means "I want you to enter me" or for a guy, just the reverse. There are also the typical family disappoints due to work.
This is a "chick flick" for a married woman...the one that doesn't cheat on her husband with James Bond when she has the opportunity. Perhaps high octane working moms might enjoy this film as they are shown as incredible super heroes who strive for the heart warming ending. The asides of Christina Hendricks toward the end of the film deal with the stereotypes of women in the workplace in an attempt to give the movie meaning. I was only mildly entertained.
No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. Mild swearing. "S" word but not as much as a certain South Park episode.