Regardless of the fromage-splattered red flags that appeared in the trailers, I couldn’t help but check out Sarah Jessica Parker’s (SJP) new film I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011). Alas, I have a soft spot for anything that involves a scattered, exasperated, working mother. This decision did not go unpunished. Upon telling friends and colleagues about my plans, they gave me that look. You know the look. It’s the one people give you when you say you’re going to a funeral. (I guess it hadn’t received the kindest of reviews.) Of course this caused some mild anxiety leading up to the feature presentation. Yet, perhaps because my expectations were so low, or maybe due to that soft spot I mentioned, I actually enjoyed myself.
I Don’t Know How She Does It is the film adaptation to the 2002 Allison Pearson novel of the same name. In the film, SJP’s character, Kate Reddy, is a successful manager for a Boston investment firm. She has an adorable, supportive husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) who works as a downsized architect. The happy couple also has two children: a six-year-old girl who lays on the guilt pretty thick every time her mother takes a business trip, and an otherwise forgiving two-year-old boy.
If that wasn’t enough to juggle with a demanding job and a family, Kate gets offered a promotion at work. A wonderful opportunity for her career, but it involves a lot of traveling between New York and Boston. It also involves a lot of time spent with her gorgeous new boss Jack Abelhammer (played by Pierce Brosnan). Predictable, yes. You can probably imagine the obstacles and stress that ensue.