Raising Helen – Edited

Theatrical Release: December 1, 2004
DVD Release: December 1, 2004


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 O’Bryan) 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 Helen’s attempts to hide her ignorance of religion, and a strong friendship develops into romance. Helen’s other sister (Joan Cusack) meanwhile feels that she should be the guardian, and the two bicker over how to deal with the orphaned children.

Dove Review

I figured this film would follow the typical “single independent woman turned mom” theme, without much else. However, I was impressed with “Raising Helen”, as well as the performance of Kate Hudson. There are many good lessons in this warm-hearted movie, along with the comedy derived from the honest effort of Helen to properly raise the children. What’s pleasant is that the comedy is clean, assisted by Helen’s interest in Pastor Dan (John Corbett), the head of the kid’s new school. I enjoyed this movie much more than anticipated, and recommend for enjoyment of everyone.

All of the offensive content has been removed from the original version, but there still may be material that could be sensitive. The premise of the film could be bothersome to young children, as losing your parents is a frightful concept. Helen is shown smoking cigarettes and in a short skirt in one scene. Also shown is two instances of casual drinking.

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: None
Sex: Woman shown in short skirt
Language: None (all crude language has been removed from the edited version)
Violence: None
Drugs: Helen shown smoking cigarettes, two instances of wine/champagne consumption
Nudity: None
Other: None


Company: Touchstone Pictures
Director: Gary Marshall
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 112 min.
Reviewer: Bradley B. Klinge