Movies you can watch with your mom
By Greg Vellante
With Mother’s Day upon us, sons and daughters of the world are unanimously wondering, “What can I get her this year?”
How can you show the woman who brought you into this world and raised you with love and affection into the person you are today that you care? And if you’re like me in any way and decided to take your sweet time while your mother was suffering the pain of labor (I took somewhere around 24 hours), you owe her big time.
So how do you deviate from the cliche gifts and spruce up your mom’s special day? How about a good movie?
Always a way to escape and entertain, movies can also be great bonding experience, especially if you know where to look in the video aisle. I’ve composed a list of 10 possible movies that you and your mom could watch together. While some obviously lean more toward a certain gender, I tried to be as neutral as possible.
10. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
It’s a wondrous, fantasy-driven tale and recent Best Picture nominee that follows the life of a man named Benjamin Button who is born an old man and ages in reverse. After his mother dies in labor and the newborn’s features are revealed to his father, the man is immediately outraged and leaves the gruesome child on the street. He is found by a woman named Queenie, played by Taraji P. Henson, in a role that is the epitome of unconditional motherly love. She names him Benjamin and cares for him as he changes over time from an old man, to a dashing young lad, to a mere infant. As Benjamin’s life takes its own direction of adventure, his relationship with Queenie is one of the movie’s most powerful aspects. Try not to feel a flow of emotion when Benjamin arrives home after being away for a long time and Queenie executes the most loving and believable reaction of a mother’s love.
9. “Cheaper by the Dozen”
It’s a movie that can be enjoyed by sons and daughters of all ages, because the mother in the film (Bonnie Hunt) has given birth to a dozen children covering pretty much every age range there is. It is a highly humorous and heartfelt film, and the performances of all the children will remind your mom of all the nuisances you used to cause (or still do!).
8. “Freaky Friday”
I originally saw this movie in theaters with, guess who – my mom! And we both loved it. Even though it is about a daughter and mother who switch places, I was still able to feel and relate to the believability in the relationship. Jamie Lee Curtis is an absolute riot as she acts like a teenage girl stuck in an adult body, and Lindsay Lohan is a blast as well. Speaking of Miss Lohan, an added bonus with this movie is that you can now thank your mom for actually raising you right, and thank the stars that you didn’t end up like Lindsay.
7. “Rugrats’ Mother’s Day Special”
Alright, it’s technically not a movie, but if you can manage to find this on DVD, you should definitely pick it up. I’m putting myself up for humiliation here, but when they used to show this annually on Nickelodeon, I would always watch it, and weep like a baby at the end. The plot involves young Chuckie, who doesn’t have a mommy and feels left out as his friends all try and find perfect gifts for their mothers. The first wave of emotion hits when Chuckie decides to give his dad a gift instead, realizing that he is just as good as a mommy. The second wave hits when the gift Chuckie gives his father turns out to be a shoebox full of his deceased mother’s old belongings. Then the waterworks start flowing as a poem is read that Chuckie’s mother wrote for him before she passed. It’s a truly beautiful episode, and watching it with your mom will make it all the more meaningful.
This movie is just plain fun to watch. Watching a grown man act like a child is always a good time in my book, and chances are your mom will love it too. Tom Hanks is absolutely perfect as the main character, a boy who becomes a man after making a wish on a Zoltar machine. It doesn’t offer up any serious motherly topics, but it’s still a blast and is something you and your mom can enjoy together.
5. Any Pixar movie
The geniuses at Pixar animation are known for two things: creating animated masterpieces, and containing humor and premises that appeal to the youngest of audiences, as well as the oldest. Every single movie they’ve made is a joy to watch, but some specifics to look for in terms of Mother’s Day are “The Incredibles” and the upcoming “Up.” Both contain strong messages regarding relationships, and offer something more than the typical viewing experience that comes with an animated film.
Disturbing to watch, but highly engaging. This one is for older children and their moms, although the story follows a mother who loses her young son in the late 1920s and fights against the LAPD when they bring her back a boy she knows is not hers. It’s worth seeing solely for Angelina Jolie’s endearing performance as a mother who will never, ever give up her pursuit to find her son. Also a powerful piece on female justice, this is one that will indubitably have you and your mother talking afterwards.
3. “Little Miss Sunshine”
Once again, for older children and their moms, this story follows a highly dysfunctional family on the road to bring their young daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) to the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in California. The result is a hilariously twisted journey involving the most well-scripted family characters I’ve ever seen. Toni Collette plays mother Sheryl, but the movie truly find its uplift in its family aspect. You’ve got Alan Arkin in his Oscar-winning role as the Grandpa, Greg Kinnear as father Richard, a mostly mute Paul Dano as tortured teenage son Dwayne, and a hilarious Steve Carell as suicidal and gay uncle Frank. The scene at the end when Olive is embarrassing herself on stage and her whole family joins her and makes fools of themselves as well is what family is all about.
2. “Forrest Gump”
There’s a reason this amazing movie character began most of his famous lines with “My Momma always said…” It’s because the relationship between Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) and his mother (Sally Field) was always strong, and remains that way throughout the entire film. The movie shows the relationship in life and in death, and it is one of the most realistic mother/son relationships I’ve ever seen in a film. Plus, you’ve got the added bonus of running, ping pong, Vietnam, and all of Forrest’s historical shenanigans to liven up this epic story.
Could it be anything other than this genius movie about – what else – the joys of parenthood? Covering different parents, different children, and all the fun and chaos that comes with it, this movie is a landmark in movies about family. Odds are that by the end of this film, you’ll find yourself relating to one single character, as will your mother. With so many characters played brilliantly by the numerous talented actors, it’s hard not to.