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Raising Helen (2004)



Average Rating: 4.7/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 30

As shallow and formulaic as a sitcom.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 136,982

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by Garry Marshall, Raising Helen revolves around Helen Harris (Kate Hudson), whose successful fashion career and decadent Manhattan lifestyle are plenty in terms of keeping her occupied and content. Helen's days as a socialite are brought to a swift end, however, when she is informed not only of the death of her sister and brother-in-law, but of the decision to leave their three children in her care. Being one of New York's hippest matters little to 15-year-old Audrey (Hayden



Jack Amiel, Michael Begler

Oct 12, 2004


Buena Vista Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (135) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (99) | DVD (21)

[Garry Marshall] piles on the cornball touches with the sledgehammer effect of a bad sitcom director.

June 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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This ode to the most stifling aspects of family and motherhood make you feel like the hicks have all uprooted themselves and moved into the front office at Touchstone.

May 29, 2004 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almost nothing about Raising Helen rings very true, other than the camera's crush on Kate Hudson.

May 28, 2004 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
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Even those who seek the undemanding entertainment of life troubles being bravely dealt with might end up wishing they were given more than just sitcom resolutions.

May 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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There's no real conflict, and the screenplay sometimes approaches idiocy.

May 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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Far from the worst cookie-cutter film to come off the Hollywood assembly line, merely the latest.

May 28, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Light drama with some appealing moments.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Yet another social fable about women in distress from Gary Marshall with no foundation in any reality and a mannered, irritating performance from Kate Hudson.

August 7, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A sort of updated Pretty Woman into homework rather than hooking.

May 21, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

Satisfying only because of Joan Cusack's sterling performance. Will somebody please give that actress a starring role in her own vehicle?

May 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Princeton Town Topics
Princeton Town Topics

As far as heartwarming comedies go, this one has all the parts necessary: the heart, the warmth, and the comedy.

November 1, 2006
Christianity Today

...a drippy, maudlin, melodramatic, semi-romantic, sometimes comedy.

October 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Tries to tell in excruciating detail the stories of at least six characters, but succeeds in showing us they are only cardboard cutouts.

September 16, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

The latest urban fairy tale from Pretty Woman's Marshall sees the director continue his descent into underwritten schmaltz at the expense of genuine wit and warmth.

August 28, 2004 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It's parenthood through rose-colored glasses.

August 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregon Herald

Truly means well but, as box office goes, is too condescending and pre-fab to mean very much.

August 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

...sweet-as-Splenda Garry Marshall pipedream...

June 28, 2004 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

A gift-wrapped view of pathos -- so sanitized it's almost creepy.

June 16, 2004 Full Review

This isn't funny enough or dramatic enough.

June 15, 2004 Full Review Source: BBC

...a warm fuzzy...

June 9, 2004 Full Review
Talking Pictures (U.S.)

All the adorability in the world can't save Hudson from another plug-ugly comedy.

June 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Rich with clichés, predictability, and happily ever afters, the story never ever leaves its comfort zone to challenge the characters and their relationships, to create tension or conflict, or to throw in the proverbial plot twist.

June 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Isn?t the best film from Garry Marshall, nor is it the best performance from Kate Hudson, but it certainly is the best they?ve done in a while.

June 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

Raising Helen can best be described as Jersey Girl with better acting. The idea isn't that interesting, but at least the people involved seem more committed.

June 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Nitrate Online
Nitrate Online

Although Raising Helen boasts a charming cast with a cute factor that's off the cinematic Richter scale, typical Hollywood predictability rears its ugly head too often.

June 5, 2004
Palo Alto Weekly

Audience Reviews for Raising Helen

test, test, test, test, test
August 29, 2011
Anatoliy Dudaev

Super Reviewer

Another great film from Kate Hudson! Heart wrenching yet heart warming at the same time!
June 23, 2011
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

Another money vehicle for Kate Hudson, only Joan Cusack makes it any level of watchable. Full review later.
April 10, 2011
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

Wow, I?m surprising myself with this one! I am definitely delving into the Chick Flick area here ? am I softening, no, it just appeared on tv and had to see how it ended, despite it being totally predictable. Made for easy watching, a not so bad no-brainer.
July 7, 2010

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on Raising Helen

November 17, 2005:
Oh It's Already Been Broughten (Part 3)
A fresh press release from Universal informs us that there will soon be a "Bring It On 3"...
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