'I Don’t Know How She Does It' Shockya Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
Director: Douglas McGrath (‘Emma,’ ‘Infamous’)
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear
Adapting a popular novel, particularly one that is filled with social commentary and has been described as the “national anthem for working mothers,” into a film has never been an easy task. However, director Douglas McGrath has naturally brought the story of working mother Kate Reddy, the main character of the critically and commercially acclaimed book ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ by Allison Pearson, to life in the new film of the same name. While the story mainly focuses on Kate’s inner struggle and conflict to succeed as a working mother, everyone will be able to connect with her desire to do her best in her career and with her family.
‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ follows Kate (played by Sarah Jessica Parker), a woman struggling to balance her rising financial investment career with her hectic personal life. Kate loves her job as an investment manager at the Boston satellite of a New York-based financial firm, for which she travels frequently. However, her husband, Richard (portrayed by Greg Kinnear), and their two young children, Emily (played by Emma Rayne Lyle) and Ben (portrayed by twins Theodore and Julius Goldberg), become upset that Kate repeatedly misses their activities and family time for work.
Kate’s family becomes even more distraught when her proposal for a new investment fund is chosen by the firm’s main boss, Jack Abelhammer (played by Pierce Brosnan), to be pitched to a major client, meaning she’ll be spending more time away from home. Of her busy life, Kate’s friends, including fellow working mother Allison (portrayed by Christina Hendricks), as well as her colleagues, such as her workaholic, child-phobic associate Momo (played by Olivia Munn), all repeatedly say “I don’t know how she does it.”
The comedy, much like Pearson’s beloved debut novel, appeals to everyone, even people who don’t have children. Through comedy, the film provides a social commentary on modern American life-everyone is struggling to find a perfect balance between launching their careers and having a fulfilling personal life. Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna succeeded in bringing Kate’s inner struggle to succeed in all aspects of her life to the screen; McKenna has said she was attracted to the story because it’s a great depiction of the highs and the lows of trying to balance home life with a rising career.
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