March 10, 2005 by Isaac Hovet
I will be the first to admit that I can be critical sometimes. I am not always the most positive person. I would like to think that is why I only lasted 40 minutes into Raising Helen. Surely it was my overcritical attitude that spoiled the film. I am thinking . . . hmmm . . . No, it was poorly acted, written and directed.
First of all, when the kid’s parents die, the scenes are so unbelievable and void of emotion (save for the little girl hiding in the closet murmuring, “it smells like mommy in here.”) Helen (played by Kate Hudson) finds out of the tragic death over lunch with other snobby modeling agents and Hudson, in a classic scene of underacting, simply puts her head in her hand (the other still has the cell phone) and murmurs, “are you sure?” with the same depth of feeling one would have while finding out that the car tune up is going to cost $85 instead of $70. These crucial scenes are very early in the movie and because of poor writing, the audience isn’t even sure who is dead. I found myself having to remember five minutes back to the brief introductions we have to the characters. Let me clarify, I had to try to remember who was who. Helen has two sisters with husbands and both had kids, but it isn’t clear who died for a couple minutes. This, coupled with horrible acting on the part of Hudson and Joan Cusak made these scenes, which should be the most powerful moments of the first half of the movie, absolutely terrible. I wasn’t moved to feel for the kids or the rest of the family, I was feeling embarrassed for Cusak and Hudson for being in such a fiasco. Yech.
You know what? I am not going to waste more time on this film. This is the beauty of a blog, I am in no obligation to finish what I started.
So, here it is in a nutshell:
- There was no clear theme (love, reconciliation, courage, hope, growing up)
- No clear storyline (was it: the tension between Helen and her sister, the frustration of raising kids that aren’t yours, the love between Pastor Dan and Helen, the teenage girl growing up too fast, being on the stinky side of NY, a women loosing her career???) Any one of these things would have been fine, but the movie never honed in on any of those storylines.
- The acting was stinky all around. Kate who? I’d rather forget.
Don’t waste your time with this bomb of a flick.
Blockbuster, can I have my $3.29 back?