Feature

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Sarah Jessica Parker balances motherhood and work in Douglas McGrath's adaptation of a popular 2002 novel by the same name.

Directed by Douglas McGrath(PG-13)

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The latest star vehicle for Sarah Jessica Parker is “a cautious movie, eager not to offend,” said Mary Pols in Time. It’s based on a popular 2002 novel of the same name, but unlike the book’s protagonist, Parker’s character is merely frazzled by having to juggle motherhood and a career in finance; she’s not desperate enough to give her tribulations any edge. Parker sometimes seems desperate herself, said Amy Biancolli in the San Francisco Chronicle. Saddled with a script that pretends that working moms are burdened daily by the disapproval of their stay-at-home counterparts, she “sweats out her scenes with the frenzied energy of an actor in search of a decent movie.” All she gets are tired gags—about wearing breakfast to a business meeting and “bye-bye Mama” being a child’s first words. Don’t absolve Parker of all blame, said Mary Elizabeth Williams in Salon.com. She’s once again created a screen character who doesn’t possess “believable flaws or complications—just annoying tics.” While this comedy is ostensibly a study of how one busy mom manages, “the ultimate head-scratcher is why on earth anyone would care.”

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