More often than not, I give light movies the benefit of the doubt. I can even appreciate the sophomoric humor in horribly rated kids flicks such as “Norbit” and “Mall Cop.” I take films for what they are, but simply couldn’t do so with new rom-com, “I Don’t Know How She Does It.”
Sarah Jessica Parker, who continues to hold her Carrie Bradshaw association seven years after the final “Sex and the City” episode, portrays supermom Kate Reddy in “I Don’t Know How She Does It.” Like millions of women in today’s world, Kate wants it all. A full-time financial exec in a boys club office environment, faithful wife, and proud mother of two, Kate stays busy but spreads herself too thin. As a result of trying to keep up with the stay-at-home-moms at her surly daughter’s elementary school, Kate falls behind at work. She finds herself late wherever she goes. She’s tardy to her child’s class baking event. That same day, both Kate and her boss arrive at the office late. When asked by her male boss asks what took her so long to get to work, Kate lies that she had a mammogram. If anyone close to you has ever had cancer or a CT scan, such a fabrication could enrage you.
Though sleep-deprived, the mom of a resentful little girl, and undermined at work, she manages to land a new account with a New York businessman Jack (Pierce Brosnan). This, of course, requires frequent back-and-forth travel from Boston to New York City. Kate’s trips to the Concrete Jungle give her daughter and husband another reason to slam her work demands. Naturally, widowed Jack develops a crush on Kate, who seems flattered but knows she’s already pushing her luck by leaving her family so often. Though an encouraging sign that the women’s liberation movement is still going strong, Kate’s story already feels as old as time, perhaps because typecast Sarah Jessica Parker simply can’t break away from the childless, youthful Carrie Bradshaw role. Maybe another actress could have played Kate without making lame jokes and seeming so misplaced.
With that said, the film would have been better suited for the small screen if it absolutely had to be made. It screamed “straight-to-DVD,” and without the impressive cast (Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear), “I Don’t Know How She Does It” would never have hit theaters. It’s astounding that so many exceptional actors and actresses couldn’t liven up the dull story.
Olivia Munn stabilizes the movie with fresh comedic relief as Kate’s icy, self-involved personal assistant. Munn’s self-deprecating humor saves the trite plot-line, which gets worse each minute. If you love Sarah Jessica Parker’s as Bradshaw, do yourself a favor and skip this film. “I Don’t Know How She Does It” lacks the charm, city culture, and range of characters of “Sex and the City.”