Saturday, September 24, 2011
I don't know how she does it
I saw this with a friend last night. Rottentomatoes.com gave it a rotten 17% average score, so my expectations were low. I didn'd read any of the reviews intentionally, because when I do, that's all I can think about--I can't form my own opinions.
Overall, this was a nice, relaxing 90 minutes. There wasn't anything earth shattering. Carrie, I mean, Sarah Jessica Parker as ... um ... Kate Reddy, an ambitious employee, wife, and mother of two, was a decently fair representation of what it's like to accomplish all these activities at once, though I found myself wishing she'd stop rolling her shoulders in her trademark Carrie way whenever she turned over in bed. I also saw no reason for the voice over by SJP that carried all the way through the movie, telling everything we were already seeing--nothing new or outside the clear lines drawn on screen. Leaving it out wouldn't have changed the story, and I feel like it would have been a stronger departure from the Sex in the City branding, thus giving SJP a newer identity as in 2005's The Family Stone.
Pierce Brosnan, as SJP's new colleague, was a fun character study on a successful businessman who no longer knows what he wants. As my friend said, "He is aging nicely." Agreed. He could have been the clear antagonist--a danger to SJP's career and marriage--but the writer as well as Brosnan's acting did a decent job of making him nicely sympathetic and a bit of a surprise.
I would have liked to see more of Greg Kinnear as SJP's husband. His dialogue felt heavyhanded and awkward at times, which disappointed me as I tend to be a fan.
As often happens, a minor character stole much of the show. SJP's highly motivated assistant, "Momo", played by Olivia Munn, provided many moments of comic relief in what could have been an overall heavy story. The director used "breakout" moments, for lack of a better term, when the action froze around certain characters while they voiced their thoughts about Kate or life in general. Momo's were the best, and evolved into a surprisingly poignant arc of her own. There were similar moments, mostly comic, from Busy Phillips, playing the over-exercising, cookie-baking PTA mom those of us who are domestically challenged love to hate, and Christina Hendricks as SJP's rebel friend.
The story itself was mostly predictable, though a few minor turns kept my interest mostly intact. I found myself thinking about other things a few times when the action dragged a little--never a great sign while watching a movie in a theater--but overall, I stayed engaged.
My basic reaction to this film was, "Nice. Pleasant. I won't remember a thing besides Momo tomorrow." Seventeen percent? I dunno. Maybe. But for a quiet girls' night out with a friend, I didn't mind. I've seen movies with higher ratings I couldn't wait to exit.