I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011)

1 Sep

I’m going to do something that makes me batty when other people do it– I’m going to judge a film even though I haven’t seen it.

Yesterday, I saw a preview for I Don’t Know How She Does it.

Movieinsider provides this synopsis for the film:

Kate Reddy devotes her days to her job with a Boston-based financial management firm. At night she goes home to her adoring, recently-downsized architect husband Richard and their two young children. It’s a non-stop balancing act, the same one that Kate’s acerbic best friend and fellow working mother Allison performs on a daily basis, and that Kate’s super-brainy, child-phobic young junior associate Momo fully intends to avoid. When Kate gets handed a major new account that will require frequent trips to New York, Richard also wins the new job he’s been hoping for—and both will be spreading themselves even thinner. Complicating matters is Kate’s charming new business associate Jack Abelhammer, who begins to prove an unexpected source of temptation.

A few months ago, I was feeling down in the dumps about working long hours and long weeks, in an especially male-dominated subset of a male-dominated industry.  I felt lost because I had no one to look to as a role model.  I felt like I was re-creating the wheel.  I knew there were plenty of women out there who had already walked in my shoes, who managed to be functional from day to day, and I desperately wanted to find them and learn their secrets.  A friend recommended I read I Don’t Know How She Does It.  Well, I didn’t. Because I was too busy working and changing diapers, and didn’t want to spend the very little time I had to myself reading about someone else working and changing diapers.

It’s obvious where this is going. I am not interested in this movie.

1.  Sarah Jessica Parker is likely the least relatable woman on the face of the earth.  She was fun and likeable in Flight of the Navigator, but every other role she’s ever had is nonstop whining.

2. Working full time and momming full time isn’t glamorous and isn’t even really interesting.  You know how the working mom does it? She scrambles, she gets others to help out when they can, she flies by the seat of her pants, and she gives up on putting the baby in matching clothes.  Basically she puts out fires nonstop, and eventually putting out fires nonstop is the new normal, and she gets used to it and just makes it through.

3. For the life of me I can’t figure out who the target audience is. Actual working moms? Because we want to spend 1 of our 2 movie outings a year watching other working moms? Maybe it’s for SAHM’s who fancy their lives busy and chaotic?

4.  This giving too much credit to this stupid film, but the kind of cheeky behavior that SJP shows off in the preview alone only serves to further suggest that women can’t act professionally and can’t be taken seriously in a high powered workplace.  Telling your boss you were late because of a “mammogram” isn’t “ha ha clever,” it’s oversharing and unprofessional.

5. All the humor in the film is apparently derived from Kate’s fumbles as she barely keeps it together from day to day.  Yes, part of being a working mother is scrambling like mad, but it doesn’t mean you’re a constant barely-functioning mess.  This portrayal only serves to portray a message that mothers can’t handle themselves in the workplace. Being a working mother is chaos, but it’s a private chaos– the kind of chaos you share with your mom or your closest friends.  Not the kind of chaos you share with the entire office.

Maybe the film itself will prove me wrong. Maybe it will ultimately trumpet the working mother and her triumphs.  I won’t know, though, because I have no interest in seeing it.


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