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Movie Review: I Don’t Know How She Does It; I Don’t Know How I Watched It

Posted on September 16, 2011 by

The opening monologue of I Don’t Know How She Does It brings us straight back to the good old  years of Sex and the City. However, the familiar Bradshaw-esque voiceover quickly moves into tedium as we realize it isn’t the lovable sex-obsessed journalist, but someone boring and unfamiliar, Kate Reddy, who just happens to be played by Sarah Jessica Parker.

Reddy is one of those career driven mothers who seems to have the ability to balance her professional life and her family. Although she is not a classic housewife home baking brownies from scratch, she makes due by imitating the same as she buys a pie from the grocery store and gives it that homemade imperfect touch by throwing flour on top. When she brings the pie to her daughter’s school for the dreaded bake sale, the “momsters”, as she calls them, proclaim “I don’t know how she does it.” After which they poke fun at Kate’s greasy hair and unkempt appearance.

Kate’s husband, Richard (Greg Kinnear), loves her deeply and manages to pick up her loose ends even when he is not getting any at home due to her busy schedule. The couple have two kids, a 2-year-old son and six-year-old daughter. Kinnear certainly plays charming father, a role he has embodied several times namely in the beloved Little Miss Sunshine. However, his character falls into the rudimentary abyss of his wife’s uniformity and is entirely forgettable.

Despite Kate’s chaotic life and anxious behavior she scores a deal with Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan) to be his financial analyst in a large deal. Abelhammer begins to fall for Kate and hints of infidelity are in the air. Again, SJP and Brosnan like SJP and Kinnear have no natural chemistry and the romance is never quite romantic in any sense of the word.

Ultimately the film seems like an attempt to reach out to working mothers and the difficulty they face against men in the workplace and women who view them as uncaring. The sexual politics are far from fully explored and the film remains at the level of fluff. I fear to even label it a romantic comedy because it wasn’t funny and certainly was not romantic. It falls into the category of the “nothing film”. Skip this one.

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