Raising Helen (PG)
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Time Out saysThe Helen in question (Kate Hudson) is a sunny rep at a Manhattan modelling agency, with a cute walk-up apartment and ready access to randy, photogenic young lads. If she had her own sitcom, she’d be safe for many a season of dating mishaps, workplace cock-ups, and conspicuously plush interior design; since she’s stuck in a big-screen serio-comedy, however, she must be swiftly rehabilitated of her egocentric ways – and what better means to catapult this blithe spirit into the world of grown-ups than to kill off her sister and entrust her with three orphaned kids?
This improbable custody arrangement infuriates Helen’s other sister, Jenny (Joan Cusack), a frightfully high-strung professional mom, while enforced parenthood exiles Helen to the exotic wilds of Queens, where a wacky Indian lady bearing samosas promptly alights at her peeling door and John Corbett shuffles in for yet another tour of duty as the bland requisite love interest. Since the movie eventually posits Jenny as the trove of all earthly wisdom for having reproduced, it’s especially ironic that the inconvenient children get knocked around like pool balls during Helen’s zigzag journey of the self.