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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

I Don't Know How She Does It

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service


Sarah Jessica Parker and Greg Kinnear star in "I Don’t Know How She Does It."

NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's a small pro-life moment of sorts tucked inside "I Don't Know How She Does It" (Weinstein), but it's quickly swallowed up in the sentimental goo of this gentle film about a wife and mother struggling to succeed in high finance.

Momo Hahn (Olivia Munn), the super-efficient and unemotional assistant of investment banker Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker), announces early on that she has no intention of being saddled with marriage and children, then unexpectedly finds herself pregnant. She hints that she's considering not having the child (abortion is not mentioned but can be inferred).

Kate launches into a spirited defense of motherhood, but the moment is interrupted by one of her many domestic crises with architect husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) and their young son and daughter. The father of Momo's child never makes an appearance.

Momo blithely concludes that although having a baby feels like a mistake, "maybe my baby will turn into Justin Bieber. He started as a mistake. Now he's a billionaire."

Director Doug McGrath and screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, working from the novel by Allison Pearson, create a gentle upper-crust fantasy world of wisecracking friends, warm parents, the occasional understanding boss and picture-postcard views of Boston and New York.

The film tries to be about a lot of things and ends up being about nothing in particular. No single crisis rises to the level of anything more than a speed bump.

Kate has a jealous sniping rival at work in Chris Bunce (Seth Myers), rival mothers Wendy Best (Busy Philipps) and Janine LoPietro (Sarah Shahi) at her daughter's school, and the potential for an adulterous romance with new client Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan), but when she insists on making time instead to be with her husband and children, it turns out she can have it all—unlike in the real world for many women—even when she passes off a store-bought pie as her own for the school bake sale.

The film contains a fleeting reference to abortion, frequent crude and crass language and fleeting profane language. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

*****
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.





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Jutta of Thuringia: Today's patroness of Prussia began her life amidst luxury and power but died the death of a simple servant of the poor.
<p>In truth, virtue and piety were always of prime importance to Jutta and her husband, both of noble rank. The two were set to make a pilgrimage together to the holy places in Jerusalem, but her husband died on the way. The newly widowed Jutta, after taking care to provide for her children, resolved to live in a manner utterly pleasing to God. She disposed of the costly clothes, jewels and furniture befitting one of her rank, and became a Secular Franciscan, taking on the simple garment of a religious.
</p><p>From that point her life was utterly devoted to others: caring for the sick, particularly lepers; tending to the poor, whom she visited in their hovels; helping the crippled and blind with whom she shared her own home. Many of the townspeople of Thuringia laughed at how the once-distinguished lady now spent all her time. But Jutta saw the face of God in the poor and felt honored to render whatever services she could.
</p><p>About the year 1260, not long before her death, Jutta lived near the non-Christians in eastern Germany. There she built a small hermitage and prayed unceasingly for their conversion. She has been venerated for centuries as the special patron of Prussia.</p> American Catholic Blog The confessional is not the dry-cleaner’s; it is an encounter with Jesus, with that Jesus who is waiting for us, who is waiting for us as we are.

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