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I Don't Know How She Does It [2011] [PG-13] - 4.2.4



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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A frenzied finance executive and mother of two (Sarah Jessica Parker) is also the sole wage earner for her children and husband (Greg Kinnear). Attempting to dedicate herself to both family and job, she nearly loses everything when her responsibilities clash with those of a new client (Pierce Brosnan) and her husband's new job offer. Also with Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn, Seth Myers, Jane Curtin and Kelsey Grammer. Directed by Douglas McGrath. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A man and a woman kiss briefly in their kitchen, he asks if she plans to use sex to distract him from family chaos and she says "Yes" as the scene ends (sex is implied).
 Two men in a bar drink beer as they watch a pole dancer in the foreground (we see her bare lower legs and knees as she dances in two short scenes). A woman in a long slip lies on her bed, revealing some cleavage, and falls asleep before her husband comes to bed wearing a T-shirt and long pajama bottoms. During a conference call, a woman adjusts her tights; we see her reaching under her skirt and she wriggles not realizing that the client can see her. A woman wears a blouse with two buttons undone that reveals cleavage. At a gym, women exercise wearing spandex outfits that reveal a bit of cleavage.
 A woman sends an email to a woman friend saying that she has to "Go to New York to blow somebody," using this oral sex image to mean a sales pitch; the message is inadvertently sent to the new client. A woman in the elevator at work talks about cooking a turkey and says, "Everyone says my breast is very moist"; three men in the elevator car look at her with widened eyes. A woman tells a female friend that her new boyfriend has something under his kilt, stating "They don't call it Able Hammer for nothing" (implying genitals). An unmarried woman reveals her pregnancy and decision not to keep the child, implying abortion. A woman says that she is a walking ad for birth control, because her life is so hectic between work and family. In separate scenes, a man says he will keep life simple without romance and a woman says she will never get married or have kids. Two women state in short monologues to the camera that there is sex discrimination in the workplace and no matter what a woman does or achieves, she is called "difficult"; one also states that, "If you sign an email to a man with XO, you might as well say, 'Please enter me'" and the other says there are double standards for men and women and that "A woman trying to be a man is a waste of a woman."

VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - Throughout the film, a working mother appears to be in a constant state of chaos: We see her dropping things at home, running to catch taxis and planes, getting kids to school late, and arguing with her children, husband and bosses; she also receives a text message that she and her kids have lice, she scratches her head vigorously in a business meeting, in several scenes she yells mild obscenities and she leaves a business meeting in a panic because a text message tells her that her 2-year-old son is in the hospital (when she arrives she learns that he had fallen down a flight of stairs but was unhurt).
 Two moms receive texts that their kids have lice and we see moms and kids go to a "Lice Enders" salon for treatment and shampoo; they all squeal and yelp as fine toothed combs are used on their hair and the technicians wear protective goggles and cloaks. A man carries a baby away from a party, stating that the child's diaper is smelly.
 A woman gets up from a breakfast table abruptly, covers her mouth and rushes to the ladies room; another woman follows her and we hear vomiting through the closed door while the second woman says, "Morning sickness only lasts about, um, 9 months," and we hear more vomiting as the scene ends.
 In a cartoon, one character kicks another in the crotch and the second character passes out.
 Two women argue briefly. A woman says to another woman that her husband never changed a diaper and that they accepted assigned gender tasks in their marriage so that it would be clear who was to be blamed in a problem situation. A man tells a woman at a restaurant dinner that his wife died despite a hard fight against a disease (never named), only two years into their marriage a long time ago; the woman says she is sorry for his loss.

PROFANITY 4 - 3 mild sexual references, 13 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (boyfriend, girls, mess, too ambitious, devil, weird, stepchild, old lady, difficult), 30 stereotypical references to women, working mothers, single mothers, men, children, families, nannies, babysitters, senior citizens, 11 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - Several restaurant scenes show alcoholic beverages on table tops while some people are seen drinking, two other scenes show wine in glasses at family dinners with one man drinking, people drink from beer bottles as they bowl and laugh, and two men in a bar drink beer while they watch a pole dancer.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Roles of men and woman, families, raising children, careers, competition, overwork, responsibilities, conflict, and resolution.

MESSAGE - Men and women should have equal responsibilities and opportunities at work and at home.

Special Keywords: S4 - V2 - P4 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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