A slow-paced look at the world of a working mother

2012-01-09 00:00

ALINE Brosh McKenna, writer of The Devil Wears Prada and 27 Dresses, has penned a script that explores a most relatable topic. I Don’t Know How She Does It is a film that poses the question every woman will at some stage have to ask herself — can I have it all? Can I have the career, the kids and the husband?

Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) plays Kate Reddy, a mother trying to balance a successful career that keeps her travelling and running a household. Parker’s role in I Don’t Know How She Does It provides further proof of her very narrow range as an actress. This film could have been a lot more appealing with someone else at the helm. It is somewhat redeemed by a talented supporting cast of Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine) and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks.

Stepping on the toes of Sex and the City,a considerable portion of the film is narrated by Parker and is interspersed with documentary-style interviews. Much of the humour and insight stems from these “interviews”.

While it is an effective way of articulating opinions, it greatly removes the film from the realm of “chick flick”.I Don’t Know How She Does It is more an anthropological look into the world of a working mother than an entertaining film.

What is great, however, is that while it is filled with opposing views and the challenges facing working mothers, the film never commits to one notion nor tries to preach a solution. Just when you start to clench your jaw and think “this is sexist as hell”, McKenna turns it on its head, with lines so eloquent Gloria Steinem herself would stand and cheer.

Even though it focuses on the high tempo chaos of a working mother, the film has an incredibly slow pace that leaves you feeling the unique combination of exhausted, stressed and a little bored.

This is a film where art imitates life a little too well. Far from entertaining escapism, I Don’t Know How She Does It results in introspection and leaves you questioning whether you can do it. **

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