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Raising HelenRaising Helen

Starring: Kate Hudson, Joan Cusack, John Corbett
Directed by: Garry Marshall


 

Bluntly speaking? The best part of Raising Helen, beside the welcomed scroll of its end credits, is a delightful rant by mega-talent Joan Cusack verbally attacking a homeboy-wanna-be in a seedy motel…. the other cast members, like the ever-adorable Kate Hudson - who's major claim to stardom is her patented smile (though she cries well too), Dame Helen Mirren and this handsome John Corbett fella, are oddly watchable, it's just the whole dreadfully drawn out, blatantly sappy, mind-numbingly predictable story around them that's messed up the film. Remember what my grandmother always said, "If it's got too clever a title...the film's probably poodle poo!"

Story goes…Helen (Kate Hudson) is a fast-moving New Yorker living the fashion world dream; being seen, being in, and being hip. Her sisters are going the other route. They prefer the one-man, coupla kids, SUV lifestyle a few trains and cab rides away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan offers.

After a horrific family tragedy strikes, Helen is given custody of one of her sister's three children.

Her life is changing faster than the girth of Steven Seagal!

Gone is her late night carousing. Gone too is her high-powered luncheons and fancy fashion job and its disposable income.

Go with it…

Apparently "Miss Can Run a Fashion Empire" can't handle motherhood. So, she now ends up in all these quirky situations with her new appointed leadership role of mother hen.

Dreading the PS 106 situation, Helen finds a local Queens neighborhood Lutheran church-school to store, err, school the kids in…she also (naturally) finds Pastor Dan (a purrfectly edible John Corbett). A sexy, soft-spoken, family-lovin', easy-going guy - that happens to be six-foot something with a devil's grin - women would lose heir vows over.

Meanwhile, because this is a Garry Marshall film, her other sister, Jenny (Joan Cusack - have your brother call Emily Blunt at 1-800-555-YUMM) is all upset she didn't get the kids and there's a running subplot involving nurture and sibling envy running along the anorexic 'Bridget Jones Gets a Family' storyline.

Yawn-o-rama folks. The film has very few laughs, is in dire need of a re-edit, and for the first few scenes you're bombarded with set-up footage that'll make you keenly aware Shrek 2 is in the theater next door. Skiplaroo this horribly phony sappy-sentimental manipulation folks! On a lighter note...Helen Mirren's jewelery was to die for gorgeous! Kudos to costumer Gary Jones.

Snack recommendation: Popcorn with plutonium butter on the way to another theater choice.


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