Raising Helen

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1/2

Beautiful, successful and happily single, Helen (Kate Hudson) is an executive assistant at a modeling agency in Manhattan in this romantic comedy. But when her sister and brother-in-law (Felicity Huffman and Sean OBryan) are killed in a car accident, she becomes the legal guardian of their three children: teenager Audrey (Hayden Panettiere), 10-year-old Henry (Spencer Breslin) and kindergartner Sarah (Abigail Breslin). Helen finds herself trying to find a suitable school for the children while meeting the demands of her job. When she stumbles upon a Lutheran school in Queens, the headmaster and pastor (John Corbett) convinces her to enroll them. He is amused by Helens attempts to hide her ignorance of religion, and a strong friendship develops into romance. Helens other sister (Joan Cusack) meanwhile feels that she should be the guardian, and the two bicker over how to deal with the orphaned children.

Raising Helen will appeal more to women because of its gentle humor and wholesome romance. Helen makes personal sacrifices to keep the children: a rebellious teenager, a grieving boy who withdraws and a little girl who feels inadequate. As a single woman, Helen frequently meets her friends at exclusive party clubs. Sex is implied in one scene when she seductively invites her date into her apartment, but all that ends when she becomes a guardian. When she and Dan fall in love, there is no hint of a sexual relationship. Audreys rebellion manifests itself in lying about her prom date and sneaking off with a more worldly boy to a motel. Clearly sex was on their agenda, but Helen and her sister interfere just in time. She also invites some unsavory teens to a party in the apartment, with drinking, loud music and smoking. There is no violence except for some pushing and shoving. Preview would have given Raising Helen a positive rating if not for one instance of the s-word, uttered by 10-year-old Henry.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (4) times moderate (butt 1); strong (ass 3, bitch 1)

Obscene Language: Once strong (s-word)

Profanity: None

Violence: Once mild (teens pushed and shoved out door)

Sex: Once mild (implied as couple disappears into bedroom)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times moderate (suggestive dancing in clubs)

Drugs: Several times mild (social drinking, teens drinking alcoholic beverages)

Other: Few appropriate uses of God (God help me! God knows me.); teenager rebels, goes to motel with boy, defies authority and lies; woman changes her life for children; family works through grief and adjusts to new life; siblings overcome rivalry

Running Time: 112 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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