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Watch: Sarah Jessica Parker In 'I Don't Know How She Does It' Trailer. We Don't Know How We Did It.

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com May 27, 2011 at 1:42AM

A few weeks back, "Bridesmaids" struck something of a blow for the female-fronted comedy, by doing what so few have in recent years, and remembering to be funny and touching while failing to be patronizing, unpleasant, one-dimensional and misogynistic in its depiction of its characters. Did it mark an opening of the floodgates? After all, the film's breakout star Melissa McCarthy, not exactly your traditional female lead, has already landed a starring role in a new project, while the more imminent films in the same genre, projects like "Bad Teacher" and "What's Your Number," seem to give some reason for optimism. Were the days of the mind-meltingly awful rom-com about an unappealing lead juggling career, family and love, trying to have it all and discovering that she can't, she has to be a wife and a mother, finally over?
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A few weeks back, "Bridesmaids" struck something of a blow for the female-fronted comedy, by doing what so few have in recent years, and remembering to be funny and touching while failing to be patronizing, unpleasant, one-dimensional and misogynistic in its depiction of its characters. Did it mark an opening of the floodgates? After all, the film's breakout star Melissa McCarthy, not exactly your traditional female lead, has already landed a starring role in a new project, while the more imminent films in the same genre, projects like "Bad Teacher" and "What's Your Number," seem to give some reason for optimism. Were the days of the mind-meltingly awful rom-com about an unappealing lead juggling career, family and love, trying to have it all and discovering that she can't, she has to be a wife and a mother, finally over?

Of course not. Yahoo just debuted the trailer for "I Just Don't Know How She Does It," the new comedy from Douglas McGrath ("Emma," "Infamous"), based on the best-seller by Allison Pearson, and despite a relatively impressive cast, it looks like the kind of lowest common denominator stuff that could have been made any time in the last couple of decades.

In what seems to be an unofficial "Sex and the City 3" in all but name, Sarah Jessica Parker plays Kate Reddy, a financial executive with a happy marriage and two beautiful children, whose life balance is thrown off when she gets a promotion. We would say that we don't want to give any more away, but 1) There doesn't appear to be any more to give away, and 2) The trailer runs through the whole film beat-by-beat anyway, unless there's a surprising, "Audition"-style twist that's being kept under wraps -- fingers crossed!

Despite the presence of the generally talented likes of Christina Hendricks, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Seth Myers, Busy Phillips, Kelsey Grammer, Olivia Munn and more in support of Parker, this looks like reheated leftovers, like The Weinstein Company cut-and-pasted outtakes from "The Nanny Diaries," "Serendipity" and "Confessions of A Shopaholic" into the outline for a new romantic comedy. It combines the why-should-I-give-a-shit-about-your-problems misjudgment of the loathsome "Sex and the City 2" with the deeply racist your-child-will-end-up-speaking-Portuguese-because-it-spends-all-its-time-with-the-nanny scaremongering of any number of similar films, creating some kind of bullshit lilywhite New York brownstone rom-com checklist full house, and we'd rather impale ourselves on the kind of immaculately-lit Christmas tree that crops up here than go within 100 miles of it.

Still if you're more convinced than we are (and generally speaking, we like McGrath's work to date, so maybe there'll be something to like here), "I Don't Know How She Does It" lands in theaters on September 16th.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Actresses, I Don't Know How She Does It, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Sarah Jessica Parker, Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn


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