I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT (Douglas McGrath)
If you want the skinny on I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT (and maybe you already know this, based on the trailer alone), think Carrie Bradshaw, with husband and kids. There you have it.
I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT offers practically nothing new on the subject of feminine struggle against social expectations, much less on how to balance work and family. The protagonist, satirically named Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) seems to have it all- a family that adores and admires her, a thriving career in finance, and women groping at her feet in insecurity. Above all this, the characters in the movie all exclaim, "I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT" or something like that. Spare the pepper folks. This is as cheesy as it gets.
The characters are easy cardboard cutouts; there's the brainy but bitter executive assistant (I'm sorry Olivia Munn but Emily Blunt did it better in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA), the backstabbing officemate (Seth Meyers) conveniently named Bunce (which sounds like 'buns' which is synonymous with 'ass' which Bunce loves to kiss around in the office), the power moms who are always present at the gym and during social functions, the subtly passive husband (Greg Kinnear), the robot boss (Kelsey Grammer), the dashing other man in the guise of a business partner (Pierce Brosnan) and how can any romcom survive without the condescending BFF (Christina Henderson) who is always a shoulder to cry on ?
Seeing Brosnan's character quickly reminds of "BIG" (Chris Noth). Of course, non-followers of SEX AND THE CITY will not relate to this allusion. In all respect, Brosnan's character was treated with a little amount of credibility and honor, though Brosnan breaks that honor in a later scene where he acts like a total dick (take that MAMMA MIA!)
I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT employs the same segment techniques from the abomination that is HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU where the narrative is inserted with first-person interviews of the characters commenting on SJP's character. The former does it better, though.
SJP still yaps and yaps about this and that; this time about wanting to have it all. Though the movie raises some important points for women to ponder upon, I don't think the preachy tone of the screenwriter and director's approach (and maybe even the novelist's) will delight most people. Clearly, I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT has a target audience because it preaches to the choir.
Then again, what saves the movie from total downfall is the undeniable huge heart at the center of the story, and SJP's credibility as a mother figure. There's your "slice-of-life" handed in front of you. The film has no twist or turn that you can't predict, and for me as a member of the audience, since the story deals with life and relationships, it fails as a communication medium because you can foretell everything.