However well "Raising Helen" did in the theaters is incidental. It isn't at the level of a movie worth rushing out to and putting down big cinema dollars. It is worth seeing once, if the price is right.
What's the plot?
A husband and wife pass away quickly as the movie starts. The woman's wish was that one of her sisters, Helen, take care of her three children. The conflict is in that Helen, now in charge, is the least likely of the two sisters. Other sister Jenny is much better at parenting, and has the goods to show for it. No argues this point, but this fact hardly changes how difficult this will make all lives involved.
What's the value?
When considering who should rear her children should she die, Helen's late sister looked at Jenny, her very motherly sister, with a brood of her own, and Helen, the fun-loving young woman. As she chose, she taught both sisters a lesson in parenting, and provided that her children, in the end, would be better off than had Jenny taken them as her own.
It is entertaining enough to watch, but stereotypical scenes and caricatured fashion designers, and a little too secular Lutheran priest (Pastor Dan) all take away from the reality of it all. It is rarely creative, but it is never terrible.
Pastor Dan (John Corbett) successfully show clergy are people too, but he does so at the cost of not being particularly spiritual.
Kate Hudson is adequate as the single girl Helen, but she could have been interchanged easily with Meg Ryan or a younger Daryl Hannah, or even Sandra Bullock. There is little special about Hudson here. Andi McDowell might have been a richer casting choice, providing more depth to Helen's character.
See the movie. You can let your children watch. Just don't go out of your way to do so.