Parents' Guide to

I Don't Know How She Does It

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Frantic working mom tale doesn't have much teen appeal.

Movie PG-13 2011 91 minutes
I Don't Know How She Does It Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 15+

I Don't Know How She Does It! WONDERFUL MOVIE

I honestly think "I Don't Know How She Does It" is a wonderful movie! From my review I would say children and young teens would be bored from this movie. But overall it is a wonderful movie!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 17+

I wanted to like this but...

For an issue that is so relevant to today's working mom's, I was disappointed at the quality of the movie. The faux-interviews and talking to the camera/audience made no sense, were never explained, and certainly didn't enhance the movie. There isn't enough about kids and the family itself to even make this interesting for younger kids, which is why I have 17+.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (6):

This is a decent entry into the collection of mom movies, managing to celebrate both motherhood and career. It can be hard to separate Parker from her character of Carrie in Sex and the City, though, especially when I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT uses Kate's voice to narrate, mimicking the legendary HBO series' signature format. When the movie begins, you almost expect a bus to pass by and splash mud on Kate's adorable power suit. But as the film (based on Allison Pearson's best-selling novel) progresses, Kate distinguishes herself more from her single, childless, city-dwelling predecessor, fitting rather likeably into the heels of a frantic working mom. Her fellow characters are also likeable, and this makes the movie's flaws easier to bear.

Despite some uneven moments and annoying gimmicks (like freeze frames in which characters step out of the scene and address the camera), the story of Kate's thoroughly recognizable struggle to balance mommy guilt with individual pursuits rings (mostly) true. That said, the film balances humor with serious topics in a way that sometimes downplays the emotions involved -- like when Kate breaks down crying after missing a significant kid moment -- and this feels like a missed opportunity. The humor also doesn't always hit -- delivering smiles instead of laughs. Stereotypes about men and women run through the film, though the negative messages that are reinforced (men can't remember to replace the toilet paper) are balanced with more positive ones (Kate's husband ably picking up the kids from school).

Movie Details

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