Friday 16 September 2011

"I Don't Know How She Does It" (Scotsman 16/09/11)

I Don’t Know How She Does It (12A) *
Directed by:
Douglas McGrath
Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear

The heroine of Allison Pearson’s bestseller is here forcibly relocated to a USA of bake sales, playdates and dismally conventional mainstream entertainments. Über-mother Kate (Parker) juggles childcare and career with the bizarre pursuit of mom-ranking. She surpasses single mum Christina Hendricks, because she has both hubby Kinnear and alpha-male banker Brosnan hot for her; she obviously has her childless careerist colleagues beat; and she outdoes any gym-toned “momster”, because she looks naturally fabulous, and isn’t, allegedly, a total bee-yotch. To the age-old question of what women want, the film bluntly responds: a medal, dammit.

Insistently slick direction establishes the now-standard overlit universe in which a heroine might contrive to send risqué IMs to unintended recipients, or have to postpone building her daughter a snowman just to imbue a project bereft of drama with another phony crisis. Any of Pearson’s nuances have long been processed out; the remaining propagation propaganda is continually undermined by the fact Parker, struggling to recapture her pre-Carrie warmth, holds her onscreen offspring as though expecting somebody to switch in a Prada clutch at any second. Even with mother-and-baby screenings, I don’t know why you’d bother.

I Don't Know How She Does It is on nationwide release.

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