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Raising Helen (2004)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 May 2004 (USA)
0:51 | Clip

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After her sister and brother-in-law die in a car accident, a young woman becomes the guardian of their three children.


Garry Marshall


Patrick J. Clifton (story), Beth Rigazio (story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Hudson ... Helen Harris
John Corbett ... Pastor Dan Parker
Joan Cusack ... Jenny Portman
Hayden Panettiere ... Audrey Davis
Spencer Breslin ... Henry Davis
Abigail Breslin ... Sarah Davis
Helen Mirren ... Dominique
Sakina Jaffrey ... Nilma Prasad
Kevin Kilner ... Ed Portman
Felicity Huffman ... Lindsay Davis
Sean O'Bryan ... Paul Davis
Amber Valletta ... Martina
Ethan Browne Ethan Browne ... Devon
Michael Esparza ... BZ
Katie Carr ... Caitlin


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


Helen help us.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

28 May 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Helens små underverk See more »


Box Office


$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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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


At the fashion show, Paris Hilton is seen arriving and sitting down in the section of seats next to where Helen and the kids are. Later, when Sarah sees Paris's dog, she is sitting across the catwalk. See more »


[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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

On the first half of the end credits, Helen and Dan were on a Zamboni in the dark. See more »


Written by BT and Rose McGowan
Performed by BT feat. Rose McGowan
Courtesy of Nettwerk America
See more »

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User Reviews

Well, at least Kate Hudson is charming
28 May 2004 | by TheMovieMarkSee all my reviews

There's a scene early in the movie where Kate convinces a guy to let her friend into a club even though her friend isn't on the "list." Kate leans over, puts her head on the dude's chest, writes the girl's name, and comments, "Now she's on the list." Worked like a charm. Come on, how many guys can resist that? What? Oh, I mean besides any of the male designers on "Trading Spaces." Kate pretty much does the same thing with this movie. She smiled, blinked her eyes at me, giggled a little, put her head on my chest, and convinced me to keep watching.

This isn't a great movie, but Kate's smile and personality are enough to keep it from being a chore to watch. However, if you were to replace Kate with someone like Kirsten Dunst, then I would've been out of the theater in about 15 minutes.

The story isn't really original, and to no one's surprise it's pretty predictable as well. Carefree gal is loving life. Tragedy intervenes and forces her to change lifestyle. Someone (older sister, Joan Cusack) is there to provide conflict. Carefree gal decides she truly CAN handle her new life. Tears are shed, hands are held, hugs are in groups, and "Kumbaya" is figuratively sung. Roll credits.

If you're expecting loads of laugh, then you're likely to be disappointed. This movie focuses more on the dramatic, especially near the end where things just start to get way too sappy for any guy not named Richard Simmons. But there are some cute and funny moments sprinkled throughout, most as a direct result of Kate's charm. However, John Corbett (who plays a Lutheran pastor) has a great line when he tells Kate, "I'm a sexy man of God, and I know it."

Joan Cusack does a pretty good job as well. Kate is the coolest aunt in the world, while Joan is the most motherly. You see, Joan's the aunt who'll kick your butt and make you mad, but she's the kind of person kids need around 'em. She has one of the best scenes in the movie when she shows up at a hotel and totally lays the smack down on a little punk who took her 15-year-old niece (Hayden Panettiere) there during prom. The older women in the movie theater clapped and cheered. Little boys dream about being superheroes, baseball players, and firemen. Little girls dream about being princesses, actresses, and dating Kirk Cameron (well, at least Stephanie did). But this scene is what mothers and aunts dream about.

If you want to see a much better movie dealing with a similar "my lifestyle will completely change because of this tragedy" theme, then I recommend "Jersey Girl." But those of you who are in dire need of some big-screen Kate Hudson should be satisfied as long as you're not looking for a movie to challenge you or have you guffawing in your seat.


"Raising Helen" is truly a chick flick, and it should definitely please its intended female audience. But guys, if you like Kate Hudson, then it's not the worst movie to sit through if you wanna score some points by taking your lady to see this. If you're the type of person who can cry during a long-distance phone commercial then this is movie gold for you.

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