Movie Review: Raising Helen (2004)

That’s right. Shoe-tying is tough. Why do you think Jesus wore sandals?

Length: 1Hr 59
Rating: PG
About: Single and self-involved, Helen Harris (Kate Hudson) has a thriving fashion career and a lavish lifestyle in New York City. Helen is shocked to hear that her sister and brother-in-law have died in an accident, and alarmed that they have named her the guardian of their three kids (Hayden Panettiere, Spencer Breslin, Abigail Breslin). As the children struggle with the change, Helen has to decide whether she’ll cling to her old ways or come to terms with her new family role.

The Good

  • It’s an upbeat alternative to Beaches with an Uncle Buck vibe to it. Kate Hudson and John Corbett are beautiful leads. I’m not sure why I avoided Hudson’s films when they were being released; I certainly missed out.
  • It’s crazy to watch this film 15 years after the fact and see the young faces of the three orphaned siblings; while I’ve not caught Spencer Breslin in much since the early thousands, Hayden Panettiere has very rarely left the screen and Abigail Breslin was most recently seen alongside other child stars in Scream Queens.
  • It has a happy enough ending. What more do you want from this romantic comedy that has cameos from the director’s stable.

The Bad

  • This film is coming at the end of the romantic comedy roll out. As a result, it feels a little cliqued and tired. It’s a paint-by-number plot with very little variation.
  • As much as I love both Hudson and Corbett’s characters and their individual delivery, there’s zero chemistry and it really shows.

The Ugly

  • It’s a personal thing, but why have someone as amazing as Felicity Huffman cast to not use her fully. Man, I am gutted that she’s the sister that died.
  • Joe Mazzello was not in nearly enough to justify me watching this. One scene and then zip, nothing.

Final Thoughts

This really isn’t one of Gary Marshall’s best offerings and even playing “Whose from his acting stable?” Was enough to rescue this film and make it one that i’d watch again.

Love Han x


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