Sarah Jessica Parker and Olivia Munn in I don't know how she does it.
The response to the title of this movie is simple. She doesn't do it. In fact, the title is almost laughable. Here's how she "does it". She pushes off 90% of the responsibility of raising her kids onto her nanny and her husband. I might have bought into the title if she worked a minimum wage job, had to scrounge to pay for daycare, didn't have a personal assistant to do her grunt work, and wasn't married to a man who is willing to shoulder more than his fair share of the parenting.
Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Kate Reddy, a financial manager in Boston. She's married and has two kids. Her job requires long hours and lots of travel, particularly when she lands a new account with New York City based Jack Abelhammer. The dilemma of the movie is supposed to be, how can she be a good wife, mother and businesswoman all at the same time. Can she balance all three aspects of her life without losing her job or her husband or her kids?
My response to that question is, no, she can't. She chooses her job over her husband and her kids time after time after time. She goes on and on in the film about how she does things for her kids, but the biggest thing she's shown doing for them is buying a pie and pretending she baked it for the school bake sale. She's more concerned with what the other mothers at the school think of her than she is about actually spending time with her kids.
I'm sure people will read my attitude as being sexist, but it's really not. If she wants to be a dedicated financial manager then more power to her. If that's her choice though, she should either A, not have had children or B, not pretend that she's a fantastic mother, accept that she's not going to be around for important moments in their lives, be honest with her husband that she's not going to be around, and let him know that he's going to have to shoulder more of the parenting responsibility instead of just dumping it all on him. And if my attitude is considered sexist, it's no more so than the movie's tagline, which is "If it were easy, men would do it too."
Okay, putting my opinion of Kate aside, there are some funny moments here. It's not laugh-a-minute or even as funny as it's trying to be, but it is mildly amusing from time to time, mainly thanks to the supporting cast. Parker plays the same character she always plays, which is basically a variation of Carrie Bradshaw, only as a financial manager instead of a writer. Some of the biggest laughs come from Olivia Munn as Momo, Kate's assistant, with her robotic work ethic and disdain of emotion. Seth Meyers is also funny as a slimy co-worker of Kate's who is ready to swoop in and steal any of her work. The rest of the men in the film are mostly bland and as in many chick flicks, are merely there to support the women.
As a single, childless man, clearly I'm not this movie's target audience. Perhaps married, working mothers will find more to enjoy in it. Although, I would think that a real working mother would think that Kate has it pretty easy.
Photos © Copyright The Weinstein Company (2011)