|RAISING HELEN (2004)|
|"Do you have any idea what this has done to my life?"|
|Time: 119 mins.|
Genre: Romantic Comedy
SYNOPSIS: A single and successful executive of the fashion world becomes the guardian of her two nieces and one nephew after the death of her sister and brother-in-law. She moves from Manhattan to Queens, and faces difficulties trying to raise the children while keeping her career.
BOTTOM LINE: Hudson seems to have cornered the recent romantic comedy market with her smart, sexy and slightly kooky attitude. There's something innately charming about her and she really needs that quality to make this story entertaining. However interesting its' premise, in the end, it's just too hard to swallow. No one in their right mind would choose a single, immature workaholic over a stable family environment. Granted Cusack who plays the happy, anal, homemaking sister is quite an overbearing pill compared to her fashion forward, fun-loving baby sister, but this is about the children's future well-being, not a trip to Disneyland. The fact that the kids take advantage of Helen's youthful attitude and woeful lack of parenting experience is no surprise, forcing the middle of the film to just plod along on an obvious track. That Helen finally learns from her mistakes and becomes a mature force in their lives isn't exactly a shocker, but Hudson makes the transition touching and believable. You want her to succeed in both her home life and her career, which is all due to her solid performance. Unfortunately, her romance with Corbett is nothing but silly filler. Why else would they make him a minister? They are cute and funny together, yet there's no real spark between them which is a problem for a romantic comedy. All in all, this is a nice star turn with some sweet, poignant and funny family moments.