Written by: Patrick Clifton, Bethany Rigazio, Jack Amiel,
Cast: Kate Hudson, John Corbett, Joan Cusack, Hayden Panettier,
Spencer Breslin, Abigail Breslin, Helen Mirren
Okay, so this particular story has been done before. Many, many,
many times before. Despite its sigh-worthy cookie-cutterness,
though, Raising Helen is still an enjoyable film. Yes, I know,
it sounds beyond preposterous that I would actually endorse such an
obvious collage of clichés, but I really was entertained. Maybe
I’m just a sucker for Kate Hudson’s 100-watt charm,
but that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Hudson plays Helen Harris, executive assistant
to one of New York’s top modeling agents
(Mirren) and all-around party girl. Whereas
her two older sisters raise suburban families
New Jersey, Helen raises Manhattan hell in pair
after pair of stiletto heels. This glamorous life
is turned upside-down when Helen’s closest
sister and brother-in-law are caught in a fatal
car accident, leaving behind three very stunned
children. To further complicate matters, Audrey
(Panettier), Henry (Breslin), and
Sarah (Breslin) are willed to Helen’s
Helen is quickly forced to shift gears between
cool aunt to responsible mom, and it ain’t
fun. She has to give up her posh career, pad,
and friends in exchange for a job at a used car
lot and an apartment in Queens. All things happen
for a reason, though, and it seems that bumping
into good-looking Pastor Dan Parker (Corbett)
is one of them. Helen also gets the chance to
discover the warm-fuzzies associated with motherhood
as well as the discipline required to maintain
a mom status. Although she receives bounteous
help from her “Super Mom” sister (Cusack),
Helen still has to discover what it means to be
a mom on her own.
I’m not making this movie sound very appealing,
am I? Well you’re just going to have to
take my word for it, then. I’m not normally
one of those typical “chick flick”
gals, but this movie was so cleverly written that
I was—and still am—willing to make
an exception. There were definitely some “yeah
right” moments in the movie, but what movie
doesn’t have them? Raising Helen
may not exactly be a hard-hitting work, but then
again, it never aspires to be. As a light-hearted
family film with lots of humor and a smattering
of life lessons, this movie is as fun as it is
predictable. While I don’t think it will
ever win any awards, I definitely wouldn’t
mind watching it on my next flight Europe.
— Emily Younger
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...