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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 6 June 2006
Raising Helen begins with the story of 3 sisters played by Felicity Huffman, Joan Cusack and Kate Hudson. Kate Hudson plays Helen Harris a high-flying fashion executive the youngest of the sisters and the only one without any children and not planning to for a long while either by the seems of it.
The story that follows is Helen's life being turned upside down as she's left to deal with a situation that she has absolutely no experience of and appears to be making an absolute pigs ear of. The reason I titled this review as 'Rings a bell?' is due to the fact that this seems like a modernised version of the Goldie Hawn film 'Overboard.' I thought this and then discovered that the same guy directed both of the films. Despite this, Raising Helen is an above average romantic comedy but don't expect ANY man to enjoy this as it is a ginormous chick flick. John Corbett is extremely likeable as the love interest and that's the main thing going for this film. Not just John Corbett but the whole cast of characters is pretty strong. The stand-out performance is from Joan Cusack who despite being the supporting actress outshines Kate Hudson by a mile.
The film is very much worth watching and it is superior to a lot of romantic comedies especially of modern times.
The extras include a Blooper Reel, a music video, deleted scenes and an audio commentary. Skip the audio commentary. It was about as interesting as watching paint dry.
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on 26 April 2017
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This is a funny, heartwarming and sometimes heartwrenching tale that I think really gave Kate Hudson a chance to shine.

Helen Harris, a free-spirited, fun-loving and single fashion executive is enjoying being free-spirited, fun-loving and single in New York, with no plans of settling down and definately no plans of having children any time soon. Her only plan is to live life to the full but that is cut short.

Tragedy strikes when her older sister (and her husband) are killed in an accident, leaving three children without parents. Despite Helen isn't the best candidate (and her older living sister would be a better mother), she's given legal guardianship over the kids. Predictably, her whole life is thrown into a downward spiral.

No longer can she afford a chic apartment, nor can she find the time to work insane hours in fashion and her social life comes to a complete halt. Taking care of three kids proves not only physically exhausting, but mentally exhausting and heartwrenching; it all begins to take it's toll. No matter how hard Helen tries, she feels the pressure building that she will never be the perfect mother the kids need.

This film has it all - comedy, weepy bits, and a little romance thrown in for good measure. The supporting cast are great, and the acting of the youngest kid will blow you away.

Definately a film I'd recommend.
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on 29 December 2004
Raising Helen is a fantastic film based on the story of when Helen's sister and her sister's husband die, she is given custody of their kids. Problem is though she dosen't have a clue how to raise them!
This is a fantastic film, with plenty of funny scenes and extremely funny characters, like her neighbour who was by far the funniest character. Go Buy, you won't be dissappointed!
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on 9 January 2005
Saw this film at the cinema, a real tear jerker. Very factual, can apply alot to everyday life. Kate Hudson and John Corbet very good in this and they work well together. Lots of tears and just as many laughs. Some moments where you cringe for Kate's character, at something she has said and done. A recommendation to all... Especially the girl who goes to the cinema with her girl-friends for a good chick flick.
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on 5 February 2014
I've loved this movie for a number of years but only got around to buying it recently. Its one of those movies that makes me laugh and cry and that I can watch and re-watch and never get bored of it. Spoilers.... its about a party girl who suddenly takes on the role of being a mum to her three nieces and nephew and about them all adjusting to life together with plenty of bumps along that journey leading to the happy ending. Beautifully acted its just a really lovely movie.
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on 1 January 2006
A great infusion of romance and comedy. It shows kate in a great light. It handles the problem of three orpaned childern when their parents are killed in a car crash. A great family film or on a date.
A great film overall and worth every penny.
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on 5 March 2014
Helen (Kate Hudson) stars as a 20-something career girl who suddenly finds herself having to house - and raise - three children, one of them a hormonal 15-year-old girl. For a romantic comedy, it starts in rather a dramatic way and has a thread of tragedy running through it; and yet overall it's an encouraging story with quite a message of hope.

It's not laugh-aloud funny, although there are plenty of light-hearted moments. It's not a passionate romance - instead, a very low-key developing friendship, with, unusually, nobody leaping into bed after the first kiss. The language is clean, there's plenty of love and understanding, and there's even a pastor who is neither elderly nor a dork.

I wouldn't rate this amongst my absolute favourites, but we enjoyed it very much.
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on 16 February 2006
Helen (Hudson) is a PA to the boss of a modelling agency. She's a party animal who lives life to the full. She has two sisters -- both with families of their own. One day she gets a call telling her that one of them is dead. To everybody's surprise the Will says that the custody of the children go to Helen and not Jenny (the most maternal of the 3).
The film follows Helen as she tries to put her life back together and adjust to being a parent. The initial scenes when she returns to New York are cringeworthy in their silliness and predictability but it then settles into a drama (with some romance). In places, however, it does try a little too hard to be funny. I liked it a lot and weeped at the sad bits but it's not as good as some other movies.
If you like Hope Floats or The Banger Sisters then this film is worth a go.
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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.
Anthony Trendl
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