Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Follow-Up: I Don't Know How She Does It

{Photo Credit}
So I broke down and saw I Don't Know How She Does It. I had posted before about not really being interested in seeing it, but I guess I lied to myself!

Here's what I liked about the movie:
  • Set in Boston - OK not exactly relevant for the subject matter but since I had spent 9 years there it was nice seeing my old city (I'll be back there next summer for my 10 year reunion - I'm old!).
  • Real Characters - Sure there were a few caricatures for humor, but I felt I could relate to the SAHM/WOHM roles that were shown. Although I haven't been a WOHM, for years I've seen these women as my own bosses and peers and have seen/heard very similar scenarios.
  • The Potential - This movie could have been much more than it was, but I accepted it for what it was: a comedy. If it had been an intellectual social commentary (nice and heavy like my Marriage, Women and Family anthro class at Wellesley) it definitely wouldn't have made it to the big screen, but I appreciate the film for being a conversation starter.
What I didn't like about the movie:
  • The Husband - His character was so flat (not that SJP's was much better) that I felt he could've been played by a piece of cardboard. Not sure if it was just the writing or the acting - perhaps a combo of both? I just didn't get why he didn't seem to have the same level of torment. I mean I get that it wasn't called I Don't Know How He Does It, but maybe this feeling I had is representative of a much larger societal dynamic being played out: it represents the fact that many times women act as the ringleader for their families. They bear a lot of the home management burden and often feel guilty about taking on too much regardless of working in an office, being super-involved in the community, etc.
  • SATC Cont'd - Yes, as I had speculated and others too SJP's character just felt like an extension of Carrie. I tried really hard to see her as a new and fresh character, but sorry, SJP will never be able to escape that unless she just up and plays a man in her next movie. 
  • The Ending - Won't spoil it, but it really seemed too pat for me and yes, I get that it's Hollywood, but this work/life balance is a real issue that could've been addressed a bit better; many times societal issues that aren't ready to be tackled head-on or are inefficiently tackled in real life can be handled hypothetically to help us get used to a concept before we fully address them on a larger scale.
So did anyone else end up seeing it? What did you think?

{BTW IMDB gave it a paltry 3.8/10 stars and it was only 18% fresh on my tried and true Rotten Tomatoes.}