DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: September 16, 2011
Rating: PG-13 (for sexual references throughout)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Adaptation
Run Time: 95 min.
Director: Douglas McGrath
Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Olivia Munn, Seth Meyers, Jane Curtain

If you aren’t already familiar with the Allison Pearson book that serves as the basis of I Don’t Know How She Does It, you could be forgiven for thinking, based on the title alone, that the story is another ode to the working woman—one that, in today’s culture, will peddle the suspect idea that women can work full-time, raise two kids, satisfy their husbands in every way and fulfill their own dreams. Lead actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who’s perhaps best known for starring as Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex in the City TV show and movie adaptations, only feeds those suspicions.

But what’s Kelsey Grammer doing in this film? The actor, of Cheers and Frasier fame, is one of Hollywood’s few (but growing) outspoken conservatives. He starred in the 2008 comedy An American Carol, heavily promoted to conservative audiences, and last year helped to launch TV’s RightNetwork.

Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise then to discover that I Don’t Know How She Does It, after suggesting working women can have it all, takes a turn toward the traditional late in its story. The film could even be characterized as pro-life and pro-family in some sense, although its positive messages become clear only after 75 minutes of depictions of marital strain, contemplation of abortion and a lengthy flirtation with infidelity.

Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) is on the cusp of a career breakthrough. She has a chance to land a major new account with her financial management group, thanks to the assistance of new business associate Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief). The problem is that all the required travel has a less-than-positive impact on her home life. Her daughter already resents the large amount of time Kate spends away from home (her 2-year-old son is more forgiving), and her husband, hoping to win a bid on a new architecture project, would like Kate to be around more.

Kate does find support for her career ambitions from fellow working mom Allison (Christina Hendricks, Life as We Know It). Kate also feels pressure to set an example for her younger assistant Momo (Olivia Munn, Iron Man 2), who dreads the possibility that she, too, might one day have a child and have to figure out how to make it all work.