I Don’t Know How She Does It: Starring Sara Jessica Parker and Gregg Kinnear

Sara Jessica Parker is an actress of mediocre and limited talent but considerable charm.   Well into her forties, she’s likeable and vulnerable in the same way that Jennifer Anniston, also a minor but appealing actress, is.

In the awful new film, I Don’t Know How She Does It, Parker plays Kate Reddy, a femme who devotes her days to her job with a Boston-based financial management firm.

At night, she goes home. Where she shows empathy and sympathy to her adoring, recently-downsized architect husband Richard (Gregg Kinnear) and their two young children.

A modern, career woman, Kate wants to have it all, be good in both her personal and public lives.  Which means that she’s constantly engaged in an impossible balancing act.

She is not alone. Kate’s best friend and fellow working mother Allison (Christina Hendricks of
Mad Men” fame) is in the same position, juggling the various acts in life on a daily basis—only she has a better sense of humor and is quite acerbic.

The tale’s has another female, Momo (Olivia Munn), a smart, child-phobic young junior associate.   Momo is a schematic creation, a character that’s juxtaposed with Kate and Allison, a woman to be avoided at all costs.

As luck would have it (and this is a Hollywood flick), when Kate gets a major new account that calls, among other duties, frequent trips to New York, hubby Richard also wins a new job he’s been wanting to have.  In short, here is a dual-career married couple, which seems to be spreading themselves even thinner.   Will the marriage survive intact?

Complicating Kate’s life even more is the appearance of a charming new business associate, named Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan), who proves to be distracting and seductive.  Will Kate resist the temptation to go out with him?

Formulaic and utterly predictable, “I Don’t Know How She Does It” is at least two or three decades behind the zeitgeist in terms of subject, characterization, and message.  As such, the picture may prove offensive and retro to bright, career women who have been doing successfuly what Parker’s Kate is struggling to achieve  in a single week–or day.