Among the males, there was of course the office jerk Chris Bunce, played by Seth Meyers. But while such characters doubtless exist in real life, he was balanced by much more supportive men, such as Kate's husband, her immediate boss Clark Cooper (played by Kelsey Grammer), and another senior executive Jack Abelhammer, played by Pierce Brosnan. Personally, I've seen more nice guys than jerks in offices. Most bosses I've come across have been reasonable and fair in their expectations from their direct reports (whether male or female), and human in their empathy and ability to understand the problems of employees with families. (Or maybe that's because I've never worked on the trading floor of a Wall Street firm.)
Among the females, the negative side was similarly cliched. Kate's mother-in-law Marla (played by Jane Curtin) could be counted on to subtly disparage Kate's choice to pursue a career at every turn, and to guilt-trip her about any perceived failing on the home front, such as her two year old son who hadn't yet begun to speak. And there were a couple of "perfect" mums who didn't work but stayed at home to look after their families, one of whom (played by Busy Philipps) could be relied on for catty soundbites. Yet they were more than balanced by supportive women, such as Kate's almost robotic and workaholic assistant Momo Hahn (played by Olivia Munn), and best friend and single mum Allison Henderson (played by Christina Hendricks). The latter could be trusted to frame Kate's many difficult situations from a sympathetic angle.
In both cases, the movie didn't deliberately stack the deck against the main character just to make a point.
The portrayal of Momo Hahn made me slightly uncomfortable. I think the positive points earned by the movie on the gender angle might be negated by some insensitivity on the race angle. There was a discernible stereotype there about hard-working but emotionally deficient Asians. Movie-makers should watch that.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5