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Parents' Guide to

Raising Helen

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Light drama with some appealing moments.

Movie PG-13 2004 119 minutes
Raising Helen Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

Nice movie with good messages!

Raising Helen is a good family movie for kids 11 and up. I like the messages throughout about having to eventually grow up, take responsibility and realize that life is no game. Helen (Kate Hudson) is a carefree, happy-go-lucky party girl with not much to worry about. She has the perfect job, a great pool of friends and a nice home. Until she learns that her sister and brother-in-law are killed in an accident leaving behind their three children. Helen then discovers that her sister left the kids to her, which should have gone to her older, more responsible sister that already has experience. The two sisters bicker often, but eventually understand each other. Helen comes to realize that her life is changing and that she must give up her old ways to become a more responsible adult - which she finds out isn't so bad after all. Cute story, seemed to drag on a little though as 2 hours is quite long for a chick flick. Violence isn't bad but deals a lot with death including a family pet turtle. Family arguments. A neighbor goes nuts when she tries to get rid of teens who are partying. Language has uses of sh*t - even by kids, some other common cuss words but no "f" words. Sexual content includes adult flirting, a woman and man make-out, two teens enter a hotel after prom (nothing happens). There is some smoking including around kids, a teen girl tries smoking at her party. Some light drinking. Okay for 11+ viewers.
age 11+


Good message. Being strong, trusting, moving on and good love. A bit iffy. Some kisses, sugestive outfits (bikinis and bare chests) and a couple almost make love but dont in the end. Dominique's company is a noticable placement

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This latest take on a familiar setup is not a romantic comedy, as suggested by the trailers and commercials. RAISING HELEN is more of a light drama with some comic and tragic moments. It has a solid script and a strong cast led by the deliciously twinkly Kate Hudson, with Helen Mirrin as her boss, Joan Cusack and Felicity Huffman as her sisters, Sakina Jaffrey as one tough bat-wielding mother of a neighbor, and John Corbett providing guidance, support, and some romantic interest as the Lutheran pastor who is principal of the school. That puts it way ahead of garbage like Cop and a Half and Curly Sue.

Hudson is fine as Helen in the early scenes, enjoying her own deliciousness as mistress of her universe. What's more fun to watch here is the way Hudson holds up as Helen's world falls apart around her. Helen isn't sure she can give or deserve the kind of affection required by the children and by the pastor. Helen must also be willing not to be completely loved every single second. Hudson shows us as an actress that is a lesson she has already learned.

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