Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Doing It With Sarah - I Don't Know How She Does It

Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) is a devoted mother of two. Her husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) adores her, as she juggles her domestic demand over her job in a high power investment firm. In fact, this time Kate is coming up with a proposal that just might give her a promotion. But she has to fly from Boston to New York and back to work on this project. Moreover, she has to enveigle her presence with a charming financial executive, Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan) who is gradually warming up to her cooky moments, like singing a lullaby for her 2 year old over the phone, or resisting the urge to scratch when she gets afflicted with her daughter’s head lice.

Plot thickens when she gets even busier than usual, she starts missing her child’s school events and even had to fly to New York during Thanksgiving to close a deal. Richard’s starting to detest Kate’s frequent rendezvous with Jack. After all, the latter’s single and not exactly a hideous looking gentleman. This last 3 months would test Kate’s multi tasking luck. Would she lose her family over her impending promotion?

We’ve seen similarly themed movies like this before. But I was nonetheless looking forward to watch Sarah Jessica Parker flex her corporate muscle – with her gorgeous pairs of shoes. The movie doesn’t drag, and it’s populated by feisty characters that buoy a rather predictable story.

The film espouses on several new age ideas: Men and women look at child care (i.e. hiring nannies) very differently. For men, it’s an outflow of cash they badly need. But when a couple is too occupied with each of their careers, how are they going to address adequate child care when they are simply unavailable?

Among disputing moms of school-age children: Working mothers need solidarity. Their rank in likability is just below a felon and just above a shop lifter. It’s funny how stay-home mothers are pitted against working moms. They compete during bake sales and school events, disposing commentaries on how children should be reared.

There’s a scene here which I love. While en route to their mountain cabin for Thanksgiving, the film takes an aerial shot of the sinewy road where Kate and Richard’s car was plying. The terrain looked immaculate in snow-capped white while Bill Weather’sLovely Day” starts playing. Before long, every one sings along including Emily Reddy, the couple’s daughter. Hearing that song reminds me of Christmas and all the other feel-good holidays.

Parker does well as career-juggling Kate, but though the film is briskly paced and well acted, the narrative meat feels a bit gaunt. Director Douglas McGrath’s film needed new ideas to allow the film to soar. That didn't happen.

Finally, on the existing double standard against working people, a male character offers how, among other things, men have to spend time shining their shoes; something that represents the expectations the corporate world places on this demographic. He concludes: “Have you ever seen women shine their shoes?" You'd have to admit the argument is rather flimsy and doesn't quite hold water.

Regardless, here's my question: Is it even appropriate to show grooming in public? I clean my shoes, that much I know. I just don’t have the constitution to show it. There’s etiquette to that. Men are sometimes too clueless with the ways of proper grooming convention.

Pierce Brosnan is Jack Abelhammer

Sarah Jessica Parker is Kate Reddy

Greg Kinnear plays Richard

Christina Hendricks plays Allison, Kate's bestfriend

Christina Hendricks is a voluptuous CalistaFlockhart ("Ally McBeal"). See the poster below for the uncanny semblance. She was in "E.R." and more recently in "Mad Men" as Joan Harris.

Olivia Munn plays Kate's assistant Momo

Olivia Munn

Seth Meyers plays the requisite naughty boy Chris Bunce.

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