Genre: Comedy/Drama
Director: Garry Marshall
Starring: Kate Hudson, Joan Cusack, John Corbett, Helen Mirren
RunTime: 1 hr 58 mins
Released By: Buena Vista International
Rating: PG

Released Date: 9 September 2004

Synopsis (Courtesy from Buena Vista International) :

Helen Harris (HUDSON) is living the life she always dreamed of. Her career at a top Manhattan modeling agency, working for Dominique (HELEN MIRREN), is on the rise; she spends her days at fashion shows and her nights at the city’s hottest clubs. But her carefree lifestyle comes to a screeching halt when one phone call changes everything. Helen soon finds herself responsible for her sister’s children – 15-year-old Audrey (HAYDEN PANETTIERE), 10-year-old Henry (SPENCER BRESLIN), and 5-year-old Sarah (ABIGAIL BRESLIN). The fun begins as Helen goes through the transformation from super hip to super mom. No one doubts that Helen is the coolest aunt in New York, but what does this glamour girl know about raising kids? She quickly finds that dancing at 3 a.m. doesn’t mix with getting kids to school on time – advice that Helen’s older sister, Jenny (JOAN CUSACK), is only too quick to dish out. Along the way, Helen finds support in the most unusual place – with Dan Parker (JOHN CORBETT), the handsome young pastor and principal of the kids’ new school – and realizes the choice she has to make is between the life she’s always loved and the new loves of her life.


Choice. Sacrifice. Destiny. Those words are not meant solely for our heroic creepy-crawler, but also to all mums in the World!

Before I watched this movie, I must admit that I had assumed Helen to be one problem child in the movie and Kate Hudson may be in for a hard time trying to raise Helen. Thus the name "Raising Helen". Another old Hollywood trick again! But I was wrong.

Helen (Kate Hudson) is in fact a career "super-woman". She is so successful in her trade of managing celebrities-models that she seem to be an indispensable asset to a top Manhattan modeling agency, working for Dominique (HELEN MIRREN). However, her carefree life of fashion and dance came to the red light when her
deceased eldest sister's children were entrusted to her. The new chores of getting the kids wash up, ensuring their daily meals, finding them a new school had proven to be more tedious than satisfying any demanding models. When the new role of a "super-mum" almost overruns Helen, the realization of the real intention of her deceased sister makes her determined to get her "job" done. Through the process, she found fresh meanings to life and also found true love with the most unlikely candidate, Dan Parker (JOHN CORBETT), a handsome young pastor and principal of the
kids' new school!

I am glad that Kate Hudson was placed in the role as Helen Harris. Her natural-born capability of delivering comedy with added
drama had practically charm every scene in this movie. Another commendable performer is Academy Award® nominated actress,
Joan Cusack, who starred as Kate's older sister, Jenny. Her seamless portrayal of an unpopular mum is equally detestable and loveable! She really reminds me of those mums who had sweat and toiled around the house, minding what seem to most of
us (lazy children) very trivial house chores.

Watching the movie is both a hilarious and satisfying ride although the typical storyline of "growing up" with children had been overused. However, this familiar "motherly-love" formula sure tinkles the hearts of many. It reminds me again of how
much sacrifice our mama has went through. Life as a mother is indeed a difficult journey. But, like what the movie had portrayed, this journey is definitely rewarding.

Thanks for everything, mama!

Movie Rating: B

  Publicity Stills of "Raising Helen" (Courtesy from Buena Vista International)

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