Raising Helen Directed by Garry Marshall
Touchstone, opens May 28
The Helen in question (Kate Hudson) is a sunny up-and-coming rep at a top modeling agency with a cute walk-up apartment and ready access to randy, photogenic young lads. If she had her own NBC sitcom, she'd be safe for many a season of dating mishaps, workplace cock-ups, and conspicuously plush interior design; since she's stuck in a big-screen seriocomedy, however, she must be swiftly rehabilitated of her egocentric waysand what better means to catapult this blithe spirit into the world of grown-ups than to kill off her sister and entrust her with three orphaned kids? This improbable custody arrangement infuriates Helen's other sister, Jenny (Joan Cusack), a frightfully high-strung professional mom, while enforced parenthood exiles Helen to the exotic wilds of Queens, where a wacky Indian lady bearing samosas promptly alights at her peeling door and John Corbett shuffles in for yet another tour of duty as the bland requisite love interest. Since the movie eventually posits Jenny as the trove of all earthly wisdom for having reproduced, it's especially ironic that the inconvenient children get knocked around like pool balls on Helen's zigzag journey of the self.