By Jacob Montgomery (Texas)
The title of this movie is so fascinating to me, because it implies that the female protagonist is able to do everything she sets out to do, being able to juggle being an employee and a mother. However, apparently that implication was lost on the filmmakers, because throughout the film we see her constantly trying to rush home after a hard day of work, and finds that she doesn’t have time for her kids. So, there’s a reason why I don’t know how she does it, because she’s not doing it.
Anyway, the basic premise of the plot is that a female finance executive, played by Sex in the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker, who suddenly is going to get very busy at her work, and thus is trying to be a good employee, whilst simultaneously be a good mother to her kids. That’s it. No, I’m not hiding any plot developments from you, or trying to trick you. This is the central premise. If that isn’t one of the most generic plots ever, then it’s certainly high up there.
You can probably already figure out what the main problems with the film are. It is extremely predictable. I want you to guess what the ending of the film is right now, based on what you know about this genre, and the plot. That ending that you’re thinking right now? That’s probably really close to how the film ends. So now that you know how the film begins and ends, you can try to fill in the gaps by imagining a bland and unfunny script in between.
I cannot believe that the same man who directed the great 1996 adaptation of Emma, Douglas McGrath, directed this trite. The directing here is so bizarre, the slow directing implying that what the characters are saying is witty, perhaps Austenian if you will, but as you wait for the characters to do so, you realize not only is what the characters are saying is not witty, it’s not funny; not even amusing. Not only that, but there’s an odd inclusion of characters looking at the camera and explaining what is going on to the audience, documentary style. I cannot fathom why they are in the film at all, and it feels jarring and out of place, but the best scenes in this film are found in these bits so I’m not going to complain too much.
The film’s ultimate message is a little confusing and even a little worrying. I think it was trying to say that your family should always come first instead of your job. While that sounds good on the surface, there are times when you will need to put your job first, so that your family can have a great standard of living. Sure a job can be asking too much out of you, and if that’s the case you would need to go find another job, but what this film is implying is that your family should always be put ahead of your job, which is simply unrealistic and could result in getting you fired.
And again, I wouldn’t mind all of these complaints if the film was funny or amusing, but it’s not. The film often doesn’t even try to make us laugh, instead it expects us to be sucked into these character’s dilemmas like they’re real people, instead of stereotypes. As a result, the film has so many comedic dead spots that there’s little or no enjoyment that can be derived from this film.
With all that said though, I am not going to say that this film is unbearable, far from it. There’s nothing that flat out insulted me as a moviegoer and casual critic, and when all is said and done, the only real sin it’s committed is being as bland and predictable as possible. In a few months, I probably won’t even remember much about this film, which is a plus. It’s mostly just pure fluff with no substance, and is yet another simply generic romantic comedy that can be added to the $5 bin at Walmart.