Projections - Movie Reviews

Raising Helen
Raising Helen
Starring Kate Hudson, John Corbett, Joan Cusack,
Hayden Panettiere, Spencer Breslin, Abigail Breslin

I won’t be giving away anything by telling you that Helen’s sister and brother-in-law die at the beginning of the film and that she’s entrusted the care of their children, its all spelled out in the trailers. The way she handles this big responsibility is the premise of Gerry Marshall’s new comedy.

Helen (Kate Hudson) has the life that every young single woman dreams about. She works in a posh Manhattan modeling agency, attends all the top fashion shows with her boss (Helen Mirren) and enjoys a nightlife filled with parties and clubbing with friends.

All that abruptly ends when the three kids come to live with her. The unexpected guardianship of her sister’s three children is quite a shock both to her and her older, down-to-earth sister (Joan Cusack) who is the “perfect” mother already and the natural choice for the kids.

Helen not only has to deal with some mighty big changes in her life, the two girls and one boy must accept a new neighborhood, school and the major change of parent, Helen is their new mom.

She does her best, but she’s ill-equipped to put down the law when it comes to her 15 year old niece who experiments with phony I.D.’s and a bad boy date.

She gets some guidance from big sis and the Lutheran pastor up the street (played effectively by cutie John Corbett-My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Tough love is the most difficult challenge but of course everything works out at the end.

This wouldn’t be a Marshall film without Hector Elizondo making an appearance. Even in a small role as a used car dealer, he is memorable.

The success of Raising Helen depends mostly on the talents of Ms. Hudson who’s in almost every scene. She’s bubbly, cute and handles the lead role well. There aren’t many laughs in this “comedy” but, there are enough smiles to keep us moderately happy.

Raising Helen

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