There are certain things which without fail turn Cinecultist into a blubbering sap. Even the hint of a death of a sibling in the movie's narrative is enough to send us straight for the hanky. For this, and a few other acting related reason, we didn't find Kate Hudson's newest, Raising Helen as terrible as we expected. Though that's hardly a ringing recommendation, CC thinks Gary Marshall and his manipulating, back-sliding feminism ilk should take the compliments where they can get them.
[An aside to the newly returned Uncle Grambo, as a big ol' Liz fan have you been keeping track of the number of films tracks from Liz Phair's most recent album, particularly "Extraordinary" the theme on RH's website, have ended up in film soundtracks this year? Is it a million zillion like CC suspects? A rough number would be interesting to see.] What saves this movie from the bottom of the Gigli slush heap are performance by a couple of character actors in the ensemble who understand what it means to actually create a character on screen. Though it's already an established fact that she enhances anything she graces with her presence, Joan Cusack as the uptight super mom sister to Kate Hudson's free-wheeling Helen actually elicits some real moments of tender pathos as she comes to terms with the death of their other sister. In addition, John Corbett has some pretty strong touching but comedic moments as well as the sensitive AND sexy Pastor Dan, though CC has wanted to write him off as a rom com actor after his involvement in the Big Fat Greek Waste of Time (highest grossing rom com ever, how it burns CC). And who can't appreciate a little Hector Elizondo every now and again? CC certainly can.
Back in April, during our review of Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30, we made the assertion that Katie H had more of the makings of a rom com star than Jennie G, and now seems like an opportune moment to assess that statement further. Kate certainly has the non-threatening sexually yet covetable physical form ala Meg Ryan down pat. She looks good in fancy clothing but she's not vavavoom, check. She sells the chemistry with her lead pretty well and she seems into the prat falls, but then again there's lots of chicks on the scene who can do this passably. Really the moment CC liked her the best in the whole movie is during a scene at the used car lot where she sells a mint green Lincoln to a Queens lothario — she appeared to be channeling her mother. Goldie Hawn has an ability to channel her sexiness into a power which charms her co-stars and her audience. In an instant, Kate had that power too and it was awesome to watch. Keep that up, and the kid might have a real career in Hollywood.Posted by karen at June 2, 2004 8:35 AM