Carrie on – I Don’t Know How She Does It review

I Don’t Know How She Does It – Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, and Greg Kinnear. Directed by Douglas McGrath. Rated PG. By Hilary Simmons.

I know, I know, I know. I’m giving a movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker of Sex and the City fame half a star more than Oscar winner and moody thespian Nicolas Cage’s Trespass received. But let’s face it – it’s not exactly a level playing field. No one’s going to hire Douglas McGrath‘s I Don’t Know How She Does It with high expectations, whereas Cage’s mystifying film choices are always either magnificent or atrocious. This film is consistently sub-par, and therefore less disappointing.

Sarah Jessica Parker plays Kate Reddy, a finance executive and list-making mother, or a fretful Carrie ten years down the track. She is ready to meet impossible expectations – nearly all her own. No one instructs her to roughen up a store-bought pie so it looks readymade for her daughter’s bake sale, but this is just the type of thing Kate does. Her compulsive need to cosset her children, husband (Greg Kinnear), and co-workers causes nearly everyone to coo condescendingly, ‘I just don’t know how you do it!’

How does Kate do it? Not particularly well. She complains, cajoles and apologises a lot. She can’t seem to manage professionalism in her corporate job but miraculously is successful enough to have constant travel commitments. Cue crippling guilt as she compromises her childrens’ needs – building a snowman will have to wait until next winter, sweetie, but that doesn’t mean Mummy doesn’t love you! Something clearly has to give, although what that thing might be never entirely comes into focus. It is speciously her job, although the fact that Kate’s boss, Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan), kinda fancies her sullies the success of striking a work-home balance somewhat with a series of XO emails.

This film is entertainingly bad; often unintentionally so. Interjected into Kate’s diaristic narrative are candid interviews with her friends and co-workers, including po-faced accountant Momo (Olivia Munn) and dirty-mouthed doozy Allison (Christina Hendricks). Their presence balances out the brain-dead parts and make this a serviceable enough film for a lazy night in. Kate will annoy many, but she won’t disappoint you (Nicolas, are you reading?).


I Don’t Know How She Does It arrives on DVD and Blu-ray March 8, 2012.

2 Responses to “Carrie on – I Don’t Know How She Does It review”

  1. This is one of the worst films I have ever seen. Fact.

  2. The worst film I have ever watched with you Hilary! so much so I had to leave the room. lol.

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