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I Don’t Know How She Does It

Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Munn | PG-13 |

REVIEWED BY CHARLOTTE TRIGGS

COMEDY

Kate Reddy (Parker) pretty much has it all: two cute kids, an adoring husband (Kinnear), a high-powered finance job and a chic Boston brownstone. She’s just too busy to enjoy it. Based on the novel by Allison Pearson, the film is fluffy and fun when it’s making light of a working mom’s juggling act (Kate tries to fake a homemade pie for her daughter’s bake sale) but gets bogged down taking on more serious issues that only get simplistic solutions. (Marriage problems get swept under the rug. A flirtation with a coworker played by Brosnan is all but forgotten.) Munn, as Kate’s driven colleague, provides a touching storyline, while Busy Philipps, as a judgmental stay-at-home domestic diva, offers welcome moments of comic relief. Parker, herself a mom of three, clearly knows how to play spastic and stressed out, but at a certain point, you wish her character would just learn to chill.

Drive

Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan R |

THRILLER

I haven’t been this excited about a movie this violent since Pulp Fiction. Stylish and intense, with riveting performances, Drive is a great piece of Los Angeles noir about an icily controlled stunt/getaway driver (Gosling), whose name we never learn, and his love for Irene (Mulligan), a woman he can never deserve. The plot tightens when the driver helps rob a pawn shop, then slingshots when the job ends badly, setting off a bloody chain reaction. Gosling and Mulligan are magnetic, even in the film’s many silences, as is the rest of the cast, including a stunningly brutal Albert Brooks. (Who knew?) Director Nicolas Winding Refn won the Cannes director’s award for Drive. That shouldn’t be the film’s only trophy.

Restless

Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska PG-13 |

DRAMA

Rarely has a movie been so desperate to sell itself as quirky and heartbreaking. Start with the romance: Death-obsessed Enoch (Hopper, son of the late Dennis) falls for lovely Annabel (Wasikowska), who-irony alert!-is dying. Don’t worry, Annabel has one of those magical movie cancers that never leaves her tired, sad or disheveled. Then there’s Enoch’s pal Hiroshi (Ryo Kase), the ghost of a WWII kamikaze pilot who dispenses wisdom over games of Battleship. It’s meant to be profound, and heaven knows the actors try, but Restless is a maudlin mess.