Boise soccer moms, I saw a film last night that I thought for certain would appeal to your demographic. ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ starring Sarah Jessica Parker deals with the challenges of a mother trying to balance a career with her family life. It was like I had a private screening of this film. I was the only one in the entire theatre watching it. This movie is bombing horrendously at the box office. This story is essentially Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw from the popular TV series, ‘Sex and The City’ married with a high-powered career in the financial world. So why is it failing so miserably?
Sarah Jessica Parker is actually playing a character named Kate Reddy, who originated from a best-selling novel by Allison Pearson. It is hard to deny Parker’s portrayal in the film as simply an extension of her ‘Sex and the City’ persona. It’s not that bad of a film. It is watchable and it did make me chuckle from time to time. However, the film overall does fall flat and it is difficult for me to recommend it without serious reservations.
This is why it is so perplexing. It has a talented ensemble cast (Olivia Munn, Christina Hendricks, and Jane Curtin), who all, by the way, nail their roles. It has a talented director Douglas McGrath, who has an impressive IMDB (Emma , Infamous). It has a talented screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, Laws of Attraction). With all these talented people attached to this project, why did it fail to deliver?
It failed because of the story. Audiences have to relate to the character in some way in order to feel empathy for them. You have Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Kate, a successful investment analyst for a Boston firm; she’s also mother to two young kids and wife to an equally ambitious architect (Greg Kinnear). Here’s the rub. She is living the American dream yet throughout the film she is frantically acting like it is all too much for her to handle. It’s difficult for audiences to feel sympathy for her plight when America is in the grips of one of the nastiest Recessions in memory. ‘Suck it up girl’ is an apt mantra for her predicament. Many would love to be in her shoes (uhm, stilettos in her case).
There are some good supporting performances especially by the radiant Christina Hendricks (who grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho by the way). To be honest, Hendricks should have had the lead role in this film. She is such a fresh, new talent. Hendricks is underutilized as the supportive friend, who speaks directly to the camera, to bring a female perspective to Kate’s dilemma in the work place. I don’t like it when actors stare at the camera and talk to the audience. Please don’t talk to me. I’m not in the movie. Olivia Munn’s performance is reminiscent of Emily Blunt’s role in ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’ Although it is a talented supporting cast, the screenplay is weak and leaves the audience thinking, “I really don’t care how she does it.”
‘I Don’t Know How She Does it’ is now playing at the Majestic Cinemas and Edwards Boise Stadium 22. Show times.