Raising Helen

Release Date: May 28, 2004

How old are we really?

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
75/92 David Mumpower Kate Hudson's post-Almost Famous choices make my heart sad.
118/126 Kim Hollis So, so horrid. It feels like it might never end.

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Imagine if you will the concept of Jersey Girl expanded by a factor of three. Now, factor in a touch of the Dakota Fanning/Brittany Murphy relationship from Uptown Girls. Sprinkle with salt, add a touch of lemon, and you have the recipe for Raising Helen.

Our heroine, Helen (played by Almost Famous band-aid/goddess Kate Hudson), is a rising star at a metropolitan modeling agency. All of the bigwigs are impressed by what a natural she is despite the smothering, kinetic pace of this industry. She's hip and fun, a rising star in the Big Apple, and the model equivalent of a Can't-Miss Prospect.

Helen's life takes a dramatic turn one day when her older sister and brother-in-law are killed in a car accident. Their three children – Audrey (Hayden Panettiere), Kenny (Spencer Breslin), and Sarah (Abigail Breslin) - have been orphaned, so they need a guardian. It's assumed that Helen's sister, Jenny (the always enjoyable Joan Cusack), will be chosen for this assignment. While Helen was born with grace and charm, she's somewhat lacking in the maturity category, and her carefree ways don't exactly jibe with parenting like Jenny's. To both women's surprise, their deceased sister has different ideas.

The kids adore their cool Aunt Helen, so they want her to be their substitute mommy, leaving the Kate Hudson character no choice but to comply. As you might imagine, this causes a substantial amount of upheaval in Helen's life as she has suddenly going from being trendy urbanite to mundane soccer mom.

In the face of all these dramatic changes, Helen also discovers romantic entanglements. During the new family's move to the borough of Queens, they have picked up a stray in the form of local pastor, Dan (everyone's favorite Northern Exposure DJ, John Corbett). The man of God falls fast and hard for this struggling woman faced with so many dramatic changes in her life. It's also worth noting that the three kids need a strong father figure.

All the pieces sure seem to fit together, so we expect Ol' Softy director Garry Marshall to figure out a way to pull off the feel good happy ending of the season. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for Raising Helen
Main Cast Kate Hudson
Supporting Cast John Corbett, Joan Cusack, Helen Mirren, Abigail Breslin, Spencer Breslin, Hayden Panettiere, Hector Elizondo, Paris Hilton, Felicity Huffman, Amber Valletta
Director Garry Marshall
Screenwriter Patrick J. Clifton, Beth Rigazio, Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
Distributor Touchstone Pictures
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://raisinghelen.movies.go.com/index.html
Rating PG-13
Screen Count 2,717
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Raising Helen
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Runaway Bride 7/30/9935.06 41.78 3158 11102.00 12675.5 152.15 181.31 4.34
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 2/7/0323.77 23.77 2923 8134.00 8134.0 105.81 105.81 4.45
Princess Diaries, The 8/3/0122.86 24.39 2537 9011.00 9250.2 108.24 115.52 4.73
Uptown Girls 8/15/0311.28 11.28 2495 4500.00 4500.0 37.10 37.10 3.29
Alex and Emma 6/20/036.11 6.11 2310 2645.00 2645.0 14.21 14.21 2.33



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