Here we go with more romantic comedies boys and girls. Captain Post Office did not listen last time when we told him no more hokey and predictable romantic comedies featuring pretty boys and girls doing really stupid things for some horrible laughs. Alright, let us see what we got. I Don’t Know How She Does It? featuring Sarah Jessica Parker?!!. Oh geez, what did I do to deserve this one. I am so sorry oh great one, but why did you forsake me? WHY???!!!!
Allison Henderson (played by Christina Hendricks) has known Kate Reddy for about six years now. Allison thinks she is a great at being a mother and well, everything else. However, she has had her slip ups here and there, including one three months last winter. The slip up centered on the Kindergarten bake sale for her daughter Emily. We now take you to the action (couldn’t we have stayed with Christina just a little bit longer?).
Kate Reddy (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) always tries to be a perfect mother. Even if it involves taking a store bought pie and distressing it so that it looks homemade. She is worried that it will not be good enough for the school and her daughter Emily (played by Emma Rayne Lyle). So worried, she actually envisions a newsflash where it says she will be mocked as a bad mother. Over a pie. An apple pie. Now if it was lemon meringue, I’d understand.
Once she finishes the pie, she takes just a little bit of time to talk to her husband Richard (played by Greg Kinnear). They even try to make some sweet love but Kate ends up falling asleep. Then she proceeds to wake up in the middle of the night to tuck her kids in and do “The List” in her head. This “List” is essentially a ridiculously over complicated way of keeping up with her motherly activities. She has a lot to do.
Kate wakes up in the morning to her son, Ben (played by Theodore and Julius Goldberg). We then get introduced also to the nanny, Paula (played by Jessica Szohr) who takes care of the kids (primarily Ben since Emily is now in school) when the parents are working. Kate then takes Emily off to school and to the bake sale. There she meets her best friend Allison, who fared worse than Kate in bringing Jello that hasn’t even settled yet.
There Kate and Allison meet up with the Momsters, Wendy Best and Janine LoPietro (played by Busy Philipps and Sarah Shahi) who are the epitome of perfect stay at home mothers. Yes, they baked their treats from scratch. Anyway, there is not any time to dawdle. Kate works too, at a high powered investment firm. She is late to work and unfortunately meets her boss, Clark Cooper (played by Kelsey Grammer) at the door. She makes a quick lie and goes inside.
Kate is one of the best senior analysts at the firm. We meet her junior analyst in crime, Momo Hahn (played by Olivia Munn) as well as her primary competition for opportunities, Chris Bunce (played by Seth Myers). Most of the time it seems that Chris is the one getting the prime accounts even though Kate puts out the best reports. However, that is about to change today when a Jack Abelhammer (played by Pierce Brosnan) gets a hold on her recent report on Harcourt.
Jack loves the report and wants to meet Kate right away. The prospective new client is in New York which means that Kate will be further stretched by family and work commitments. However, she is up to the “Job” as she tells her best friend Allison over instant messenger. At the same time, she tells Jack that she looks forward to seeing him. From the moment she steps in New York and meets Jack, she can tell her life is about to change forever. That is, if she can get pass her itching hair and instant messenger slipup.
So, you might ask yourself, self…why does Kate’s hair itch and how exactly did she slip up in instant messenger? Well, self, let’s look up romantic comedy clichés 101. It says here, that itchy hair can be caused by lice. This could be contracted most likely from Emily’s school. The slip up is also on the cliché list where the woman accidentally sends the inappropriate message to her boss that was intended for Allison and Allison got the one that involved: Looking forward to seeing them soon. As Flo from Progressive would say, “Happens all the time.”.
If that sounded like a guffaw fest, you are in luck and should probably rush out to get this movie immediately. If you are like the other 92.3% of the population and think we have seen this ridiculousness before, you are absolutely right. The cast in this movie is actually quite good (just go up and down the list and realize how much talent is wasted) but the writing is chuck full of clichés and stereotypes. A working mother should be praised beyond belief, a stay at home mother does not do enough and men are scum.
The other thing that irked was the “Sex in the City” style of narration. At many points during the movie, we get one of the characters talking to the camera as if this was the shooting of a documentary about this “real life” film. It makes the events that much hokier and gets us to the point where we find it difficult to like any of the characters. Well except Jack or Allison and perhaps Richard. Momo is not half bad either, but that hardly makes the film when the writing is so over the top.
The video is in 1.78:1 widescreen presentation in 1080p resolution. The flic does look pretty decent thanks mostly to the list of desirable cast characters (well, except for Sarah Jessica Parker, I still think she looks something like a muppet). At least we get Christina Hendricks and Olivia Munn to stare at. (for the women, I suppose Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear). The snowy grounds of New York and other locales certainly add a nice flavor to the surroundings. Good color and depth throughout the picture are certainly apparent.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 DTS-HD track for English. Sound is fairly basic and to the point. Dialog is very clear and no one should have any problem understanding any of the actors, even ole Englishman, Pierce Brosnan. There are no real surround effects to speak of except the occasional physical comedy bit. It is for the most part, dialog coming out of the center and occasionally the left or right and not a whole heck of a lot else. Subtitles are included for English SDH and Spanish.
- Automatic Trailers: My Week with Marilyn and What’s Your Number?
- A Conversation with Best Selling Author Allison Pearson 7:00: About as dreadful as the movie, we get a quick conversation with the author. It is easy to see where all of the stereotypes come from, because the author only further seeks to push them in front of us. Basically, it is a simple rundown of the movie, premise and the major characters.
Kate Reddy’s character says it best: “I’m probably a walking reason for birth control.” Actually, I’d take that one step farther; this movie is a walking list of reasons for birth control. Having a child is a wonderful thing, and trying to balance working and taking care of your children is extremely difficult. But each of these things is a choice for both parents and they need to weigh each of those choices carefully. If they did that, then many of these stereotypes on display in this movie wouldn’t exist as much.
Hence why it is easy to see why these movies exist. The growing notion among Hollywood is that these movies are a faithful representation of the working mother society. That could not be further from the truth and until films evaluate the working father and stay at home mother or father relationships in a positive light, they will continue to push out the clichés and stereotypes. It is extremely unfortunate in this film since they have such a wonderful cast to work with.
The disc is okay, with above average video and decent audio. The extra is only a throwaway conversation with the Author and is not even worth the seven minutes it takes to watch it. The blu-ray gets no recommendation from this house. So very few romantic comedies want to be different these days and this is the very epitome of one with a cookie-cutter format that does not even try to be different. Run far away from this one, it is for the best.