I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)

For reasons only known to the unemployed, I started watching Sex and the City, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it wasn't the most painful show I've ever watched. It is a show, however, that suffers from Lead Character is the Worst Syndrome also seen on Grey's Anatomy (I hate that I even know this) and intermittently How I Met Your Mother (Ted, come on). Sarah Jessica Parker's Carrie Bradshaw is one of the worst incarnations of feminine stereotypes I have ever seen. She's insecure, obsessed with men, buys ridiculously expensive shoes she can't afford, and writes a poorly written column (seriously, is that narration supposed to be her column?). Um, at least she seems to be a good listener? Suffice it to say, Miranda or even Charlotte would have been preferable leading ladies to Carrie.

The point is that SJP is essentially playing this same neurotic girl in I Don't Know How She Does It, and it is painful to watch. She's married to cute/adorable Greg Kinnear (playing Nice Guy Kinnear), has two kids, and--watch out--is some sort of finance executive that requires her to travel frequently. And of course she's torn between work and family. And of course she and her husband start big work projects at the same time. And of course she has an almost-romance with Pierce Brosnan. Because that's what neurotic girls do when they aren't embarrassing themselves or CONSTANTLY TALKING/NARRATING about their white people problems like making something for their daughter's bake sale because they remember their mother embarrassing them at their own elementary school bake sale by sending them with cans of fruit (side bar: WHO ARE THESE CHILDREN WHO CARE THIS MUCH ABOUT BAKE SALES, ESPECIALLY YEARS LATER? That mom with canned food was on to something).

Quite frankly, I would have punched Sarah Jessica Parker in the stomach to make her STOP TALKING. It's not charming to be around someone who has overexplain everything, it's obnoxious and exhausting. And even watching this fictional character interact with other fictional characters was exhausting, especially when this fictional character is seriously touting outdated platitudes about how "a woman trying to be a man is a waste of a woman." In the words of my ladyfriend I saw the movie with, this line alone reversed the feminist movement 30 years.

That's not to say the movie didn't have some highlights, mostly in the form of talking head interviews à la Greg Daniels (seriously, who are these women talking to?). Christina Hendricks is adorable no matter what but especially when she's talking feminism in the workplace, and Busy Philipps is funny as the perfect stay-at-home mom who mostly just works out at the gym. But the real highlight (and confusing at that) is Olivia Munn as SJP's assistant. Her strictly-business, career-driven, not-into-kids commentary is humorous (if only because it's in contrast to Parker's inane character talking about how being a wealthy, working mom is so hard), until the film SPOILER decides to make her pregnant and realize that being a mom is aWeSOmE! (cue smug Being a Mom is the Best face from SJP).

Moral of the story: women should never forget they're women and always act like women because who wants to be a man? Amirite, ladies?

Ultimate question: What does Aline Brosh McKenna have against working women who are functional human beings?


  1. I feel like you watched this movie and wrote this post so I wouldn't have to. Thank you.

    And yeah...kind of all the female characters in SITC (yeah I just typed that) are obnoxious stereotypes. The movies are even worse...do not go there.

  2. You really summed up everything that pissed me off about this movie. That quote towards the end of the movie really irritated me: "trying to be a man was a waste of being a woman"--hello, way to erase transgender identities??? I'll admit that I found it touching that she took the time in the end to make a snowman with her children, but I hate that that was the note the movie ended on. Being a mother is the most fulfilling role a mother can play and as a mother I am holier than thou and in every woman is a mother just bursting to come out and to be a nurturing and chaotic mess like SJP. Any woman who would choose to not have children must obviously be a robot with no human emotions or simply not realize what she is missing out on in life! Argh, I think I'll end my rant here. What irks me so much about movies like these is that though they are not the ones that win the oscars, they are the ones that help construct our view of society.

  3. Recognizing that a woman has her own traits not willing to be a man is taking the feminist movement back 30 years? If so, I guess that has to be done.

    what a wacky post

  4. Some people prefer not to have children and they should not be looked down on. Everyone has the right to choose their path and if being a mother is happy happy then so be it but it also has many responsibilities that many just do not want to commit to. Women are allowed to work and do as they please. This movie was amazing and I loved every bit of it. Sarah Jessica Parker did an outstanding job as usual and a woman that can work, have a great family, be a mother and a wife, and still succeed in her job, that is a miracle and something admirable to look up to. In addition, YES! A waste of woman? Absolutely! Be a woman and embrace it!