have them, she's got the Mum haircut"
Still grieving from the accidental death of her sister Lindsay
(Huffman) and her husband, Helen (Hudson) is shocked to find out that her
sister's will stipulates that she will be given sole guardianship of their
three children Audrey (Panettiere), Henry (Spencer Breslin) and Sarah (Abigail
Breslin). Helen thought they would go to her super-Mum sister Jenny (Cusack)
but it seems like her sister had other ideas. So instead of been the modelling
agent and New York socialite she dreamed of been, Helen is now an instant
mother with all the responsibilities that come with it.
The comparisons between Kate Hudson and her mother Goldie
Hawn become justified as this movie could have easily been made by either
of them. The problem is that neither of them could have saved it.
Director Garry Marshall's (Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride) latest
is a story about coping responsibility that is filled with sentimentally
and cliché, all coated with a liberal sprinkling of sugar. From the off
you are pounded with an emotion bombardment, from the perfect family so
tragically devastated to a little girl struggling to remember how her now
departed mother taught her to tie her shoelaces, all with the hope of drawing
you into Helen's predictament and understanding the wayward reaction of
the kids to their new circumstances. While it does succeed in producing
a certain level of sympathy for both Helen and the kids, you can't help
thinking that the reactions of both of them in real life would have been
more severe. None of them truly show any real devastation at such a traumatic
loss with the film just showing you the Hollywood version of grief.
Kate Hudson career seems to be heading down the same route
as her mother's. After a more serious start she has chosen a more lighthearted
road by planting herself in her mother's speciality, romantic dramas and
comedies. While there is no denying that she has a gift from these particular
genres, her more dramatic talents seem to be going to waste. See needs to
show what she can do and escape from her mother's rather large shadow.
John Corbett has also carved a niche for himself as the female
lead's love interest but he is far too old to be dating Hudson's character
(there are eighteen years between them in real life). It seems that Helen
is supposed to be older than Hudson actually is but he still looks far too
old for her.
Joan Cusack is as good as ever however, playing a role that
she could make her own in her sleep. She is one of those actresses that
that always grabs your attention in which ever part she plays but never
really receives the plaudits she so rightly deserves.
Hayden Panettiere, Spencer Breslin and Abigail Breslin are
very watchable as the loveable kids with Panettiere getting the chance to
slightly act out as a sugary version of a troublesome teen.
Raising Helen is just far too sugar coated to do any justice
to the subject matter. This could have been an interesting insight into
the trauma of such profound loss but what we end up with is a Hollywood
version of grief that ends in happily ever after.
Presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen with a Dolby Digital
5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is very good. Garry Marshall picturesque view
of New York is vividly brought to life with exuberant colours and sharp
detail. The sound is also very good, especially during the fashion show
Director Garry Marshall and writers Beth Rigazio, Jack Amiel and Michael
Begler come together to talk about bringing Raising Helen to the silver
screen. This is a chatty and fun commentary track simply because Garry Marshall
is involved. He takes over the entire track, asking all the questions and
throwing in some funny stories about the production. This makes it a lot
more interesting than it should have been.
Blooper Reel (4.44 mins)
A montage of gaffs and goofs that includes the comedy stylings of Spencer
Breslin and the cast and crew having fun with the clapperboard.
Deleted Scenes (13.50 mins)
Entitled 'Tinka and Paparazzi', 'Making Breakfast', 'Friends stop by', 'Bridal
Fashions', 'Day Care' and 'Day Care (outtakes)', each of these six deleted
scenes are introduced by director Garry Marshall, who explains why they
were removed from the final print.
Music Video by Liz Phair 'Extraordinary' (3.40 mins)
A promotional pop video for the release of Raising Helen, that puts single
Liz Phair into scenes from the movie.
A lack lustre film receives an average DVD release. The disc's
only saving grace is the commentary track with Garry Marshall, who shows
more passion for the film than he should do. With no making of featurette,
this will disappoint fans of the movie, making this a very average release.
to lose a Guy in 10 Days
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