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The Captive
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday, November 24, 2014 - Edition No 924 
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I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT

SYNOPSIS:
Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) is good at everything, successfully juggling the role of wife, mother and successful career woman in Boston where she lives. Richard (Greg Kinnear), her architect husband who has recently gone out on his own is hugely supportive and child care is a fact of life for their two young children. After years of hard work, one of Kate's investment proposals is approved by the company's New York boss, Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan); Kate and her assistant Momo (Olivia Munn) are called to a meeting. Juggling constant travel as well as honouring family commitments is no mean feat and friends and family alike wonder how Kate does it?

Review by Louise Keller:
If you enjoyed Sex and the City, you'll like this funny, sassy and fast-paced melting pot of domestic and business chaos, where the key to juggling is throwing, not catching. But what goes up does come down and we are there for every minute of the angst and heartache, joys and laughter as Sarah Jessica Parker's super-mum and business dynamo Kate Reddy works out her priorities.

Based on Allison Pearson's 2002 best-selling novel, scriptwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) has penned a light-hearted yet keenly observed scenario liberally peppered with humour and surprises as it takes the woman's point of view. While the resulting film may be airbrushed Hollywood-style, humour is its saving grace, as the laughs are firmly grounded in realism.

It is in the wee small hours of the morning when we first meet Kate (Parker), who has just arrived home in Boston after a business trip, finding an ingenious solution for the Pie Bake at her six year old daughter's school the following day. Under no circumstances must anyone know that the pie was bought - especially blonde, perfect, full time mum Wendy (Busy Philipps) who is known for doing everything perfectly.

Kate works for a high-powered financial investment firm and her immaculately coiffed junior colleague Momo (Olivia Munn), who swears she will never have children, views Kate with a mix of admiration and horror. 'It's like she's on parole - she has to ring husband whenever she has to work late', she says, po-faced.

Kate has plenty of support however, from her architect husband Richard (Greg Kinnear), but the ever-constant juggling of schedules takes its toll. One of the funniest scenes occurs when Kate flies to New York (with Momo) for a meeting with the firm's top dog Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan), whose philosophy is to keep things simple. Not only has Kate accidentally sent Jack the email intended for her fun-loving single mum best friend Allison (Christina Hendricks), but on arrival, her head starts to itch violently, the result of the lice epidemic that has just spread through her children's school.

Parker has great appeal and her energy transcends the screen; she plays the role of Kate with as much attitude as she did Cassie in Sex and the City. Only this time Kate's passion is not gorgeous shoes, designer clothes and Mr Big, but her down-to-earth husband, children and career. Brosnan plays Jack with just the right amount of cynicism, charm and warmth and his relationship with Kate has the underlying promise of sparks. Kinnear excels as the caring husband whose subscription to understanding has almost expired.

Interjected into the film's narrative are intermittent comical asides from friends and colleagues as they state their point of view and perspective. There are chuckles to spare in this likeable chick flick that could be the happily-ever-after story for all working mothers - how to have it all.
First published in the Sun-Herald



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT (PG)
(US, 2011)

CAST: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Meyers, Olivia Munn, Jane Curtin, Mark Blum

PRODUCER: Donna Gigliotti

DIRECTOR: Doug McGrath

SCRIPT: Aline Brosh McKenna (novel by Allison Pearson)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Stuart Dryburgh

EDITOR: Kevin Tent, Camilla Toniolo

MUSIC: Aaron Zigman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Santo Loquasto

RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 3, 2011







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