The not-so-anticipated Sarah Jessica Parker vehicle, I Don’t Know How She Does It based on the book by Allison Pearson is not Sex and the City 3 — although it makes for a great anthem for working moms. In this case the workaholic mom (Parker) “does something at a bank” and, inevitably (predictable spoiler alert), learns how to put family before her job as some sort of executive bank person who “does something at a bank.” That’s the long and the short of it — and like her fellow characters in the movie, I don’t know how she does it — and I am not really interested in finding out HOW she does it.
Maybe it’s because I am not a working mom or maybe it’s because I am not in the point of my life where I have kids and spouse to put second to my job. The bottom line is that this movie will have millions of working moms nodding their heads and putting their fists in the air with triumph saying, “FINALLY! There’s a movie that shows the struggle of what WE have to go through!” Like I said, I am not interested– and that’s not an attack. There are millions of women out there who juggle family, work, and self. I admire and appreciate that. It’s very commendable. In fact, I think working moms are probably one of the most valuable and amazing creatures on this planet, BUT I am so self-absorbed in my own kidless life that I am trying to juggle my own demons and trying to cure myself of the thirtysomething misery of trying to maintain some sort of dignified job, trying to decide which high-profile event to go to, chronic reminders of loneliness, sudden bouts of self-loathing, constantly worrying about what others think of me, wondering why no one is commenting on my blog/Facebook/Twitter page and finally, finding the appropriate road to fame.
Come to think of it, in a broad scope, both worlds parallel each other in more ways than one. Whether being single or partnered, the problems don’t stop. They are just on different worlds, right? (Grass. Greener. Other. Side.)
But that argument is for another self-absorbed blog post. I am here to talk about the I Don’t Know How She Does It, a movie whose premise is relevant and pedestrian but has strong market value. I mean, come on, Sarah Jessica Parker stars in it. She is one of those actors who appeal to women both young and old — thanks to Sex and the City.
Speaking of S.A.T.C., I would have liked this movie if it weren’t for the movie versions of once-beloved HBO series (the final season probably played a part in the downward spiral of the show). The movie versions were just a sloppy “P.S.” of the lives of the quartet of horny high-profile Manhattanites. It’s like having a family of relatives overstay their welcome. It’s hard to enjoy an SJP movie with those two movies burrowed inside of my head.
What made it even more difficult to dissociate S.A.T.C. from I.D.K.H.S.D.I. was the use of Parker’s voiceover — we get it. She has great voiceover talents, but if they were trying to NOT make this like S.A.T.C., then they failed miserably.
Then there was the attempt to make Parker look a little more like a convincing disheveled mom. Again, they failed. She was very tailored and dressed nicely — with an occasional untucked shirttail here and there. Although it’s not as over-the-top and fashion whorish like Carrie Bradshaw, it still has her quirky, flighty attitude.
The reason why I am focusing so much on SJP, is because the movie is ALL SJP. There was a very valiant attempt to dim the light of her celebrity star by surrounding her with talented actors who are not as “cool” as her: Greg Kinnear, Olivia Munn, Christina Hendricks, Seth Meyers, Busy Philipps, Kelsey Grammer, Pierce Brosnan, etc. etc. They offer a splash of personality and seeing them (especially Munn and Philipps) extinguished the fire of sugar shock that Parker tends to bring every time she’s on screen.
The movie succeeds, first and foremost, it stars Sarah Jessica Parker. (Her brand image alone can move mountains) The empowering “You too can balance your life!” infomercial message comes second.
Bottom line: this movie is about Carrie Bradshaw in another dimension that requires her to work and not be so annoying.
I Don’t Know How She Does It opens in theaters today.