6.0/10
32,607
106 user 91 critic

Raising Helen (2004)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 May 2004 (USA)
After her sister and brother-in-law die in a car accident, a young woman becomes the guardian of their three children.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »

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ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Martina
Ethan Browne ...
Devon
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BZ
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Caitlin
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Storyline

Helen Harris is living the life she's always dreamed of: her career at a top modeling agency is on the rise; she spends her days at fashion shows and her nights at the city's hottest clubs. But her carefree lifestyle comes to a screeching halt when one phone call changes everything. Helen soon finds herself responsible for her sister's children: 15-year-old Audrey, 10-year-old Henry, and 5-year-old Sarah. No one doubts that Helen is the coolest aunt in New York, but what does this glamour girl know about raising kids? The fun begins as Helen goes through the transformation from super-hip to super-mom, but she quickly finds that dancing at 3a.m. doesn't mix with getting kids to school on time--advice that Helen's older sister, Jenny, is only too quick to dish out. Along the way, Helen finds support in the most unusual place--with Dan Parker, the handsome young pastor and principal of the kids' new school--and realizes the choice she has to make is between the life she's always loved ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Helen help us.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic issues involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Helens små underverk  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,239,252, 30 May 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,486,138, 5 September 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot on the same streets in Queens as Spider-Man (2002) and It Could Happen to You (1994). See more »

Goofs

Audrey's hair alternates between messy and straight between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Club Doorman: What we got here; 1,2,3,4 - 4 beautiful ladies. Come on. Cesar let them in. Nice. Not you, too random.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits interacts with the opening scenes, wiping on/off screen with passing persons and objects. See more »

Connections

Features Married with Children (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont (uncredited)
Performed by Ed O'Neill and Harold Sylvester
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television Inc.
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User Reviews

 
utterly artificial slice-of-life comedy
17 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

"Raising Helen" is a formulaic romantic comedy that makes you wonder when Kate Hudson will again find a role that will actually allow her to stretch herself as an actress, fulfilling the promise she made half a decade ago in "Almost Famous." Since then it's been mostly downhill for Hudson, and the ironically titled "Raising Helen" does nothing to help arrest or reverse that slide.

Hudson plays Helen Harris, a young woman whose budding career in the fashion industry is suddenly cut short when her sister and brother-in-law are killed in a car accident, leaving Helen to raise their three children. Things go from bad to worse, as the once carefree Helen struggles with the trials and tribulations and life-changing vicissitudes of unplanned motherhood.

This is a typical Garry Marshall film in that, even when it tries to deal with "real world" issues such as death, loss, grief, sibling rivalry, teenage angst etc., it does so in only the most superficial, glossy and unconvincing of terms. Heck, there's even a hunky, hockey-playing Lutheran minister on hand - the kind one can only find in movies - to provide spiritual as well as romantic comfort for those times when the going gets to be just a bit too tough for the harried guardian.

The performances are uniformly uninteresting, but I choose to blame the shallow writing rather than the actors in this case. It's particularly painful to see actresses of the caliber of Felicity Huffman and Joan Cusack cast adrift in this sea of "chick flick" platitudes and feel-good movie clichés - but everyone in this film suffers a similar fate.


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