Complete A-Z list

I Don't Know How She Does It


Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Meyers, Olivia Munn

Director: Douglas McGrath

It’s been a long time (17 years, to be exact) since Sarah Jessica Parker was memorable as Dolores Fuller in Ed Wood. Since then she has achieved celluloid immortality as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City on television and the cinema.

I assume she now hopes to shake off Carrie but this pleasant but predictable chick-flick shows few signs that she is managing to do so. She works hard and her character – a successful career woman trying to juggle her job and home life as a wife and mother of two – probably carries enough echoes of Carrie to please Sex and the City aficionados, but without adding much that is unexpected to her performance.

Parker finds herself frequently flying from her home town of Boston (thus providing useful product placement for Delta Airlines) to New York where she and top executive Brosnan work together to sell a massive investment scheme, a high pressure process that inevitably strains her marriage and her empathy with her two children…

Unsurprisingly her mild husband Kinnear starts to feel unloved because of her frequent absences and her unfortunate habit of exhaustedly falling asleep before the couple can make love, while her kids start reacting badly to her absences and widower Brosnan falls for her …

On the credit side, the film is competently made and not overlong. That said, clichés are frequent, redeemed somewhat by the genuinely funny panic displayed by Parker when she is struck down by a super-itchy case of head lice which drives her mad at an important meeting.

Brosnan’s suave, tongue-in-cheek performance and some acid one-liners add savour, Grammer is wasted It’s not a terrible movie – just forgettable.

Alan Frank

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Entertainment Film Distributors. Colour.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Sep 2011