Saturday, September 13, 2008

Raising Helen

DVD review from The Movie Snob

Raising Helen (D+). I did not care for this movie, although it packs a fair amount of acting talent. Kate Hudson (The Skeleton Key) is Helen Harris, a freewheeling single gal working in New York's fabulous fashion industry. She has two older, married sisters, played by Joan Cusack (School of Rock) and Felicity Huffman (Christmas With the Kranks). Felicity and her husband are killed in an offscreen car accident, and Helen is stunned to learn that she is the designated preferred guardian for the decedents' three kids (who include Hayden Panettiere of TV's Heroes fame, and Abigail Breslin from Little Miss Sunshine). Mix in John Corbett (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) as Helen's potential love interest and Helen Mirren (The Queen) as her boss, bake for 2 hours, and you should have a heartwarming story about a young woman who learns what's really important in life from three adorable dependent children. Instead, you get a clunky and irritating knock-off of the infinitely superior German movie Mostly Martha. Even the mediocre American remake of Mostly Martha, the Catherine Zeta-Jones movie No Reservations, was better than this. (Didn't that movie star Abigail Breslin as an orphan too? The girl's going to get a complex!) The romantic subplot involving Helen with the Presbyterian pastor/principal at the kids' school was especially painful to watch.


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