30 May 2006 | jotix100
Bridge and tunnel
New Yorkers that happen not to live in the island of Manhattan are seen as "Bridge and tunnel", a derisive term used by residents of the island to indicate their superiority to their less sophisticated, or perhaps less affluent neighbors. Never mind that most Manhattanites are transplants from other places themselves!
Imagine Helen Harris' reaction when she is given custody of her three nephews and has to give up her Village apartment because it's too small and has to relocate to Astoria! Garry Marshall, a director with a lot of films under him, is at the helm of this comedy that follows the adventures of a woman trying to cope with what destiny had in store for her, even though she never set out to be in the position she has to face. The screen play is by Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, two men that has dealt in cuteness in previous works.
Helen, who works for a modeling agency in Manhattan, finds herself in a predicament when her sister Lindsay and her husband die tragically. She has been picked to raise two girls and a boy and she is ill prepared to deal with the situation. Instead of naming the more domestic sister, Jenny, as the guardian, Lindsay knew something that the other two siblings didn't know in trusting her three children to Helen.
"Raising Helen" deals with the trials and tribulations of Helen as she comes to terms with her new situation. She must give up her fabulous job, with all its perks, and seek employment in a "previously owned" car lot where she is able to prove her worth. At the same time, she has to deal with her new family in ways she didn't expect. She also finds a good man in the Lutheran pastor who falls in love with her from the moment she enrolls the kids in his school.
Kate Hudson is a beautiful woman with an angelic face that keeps the viewer recalling her mother, Goldie Hawn. She is as good a comedienne, as her mother was in her prime. The best thing in the film, or in any other film where she is cast, is Joan Cusack. She steals the film with her Jenny, a well meaning person who feels bypassed for a role she was meant to play all along. Ms. Cusack is a treasure in this movie. John Corbett, is the hunky Lutheran pastor who falls in love with Helen. Helen Mirren and Felicity Huffman has small roles as Helen's boss Dominique and her sister Lindsay.
"Raising Helen" while predictable was targeted for a certain viewer who loves this type of comedy. Under the sure hand of Garry Marshall it makes for a pleasant time at the movies.