In the words of Eric “The Crow” Draven: “Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of children.”
So, whether your own mama’s a benevolent deity or a terror-inducing tyrant of Old Testament temperament, don’t forget on the 13th to give her a call, a bit of extra attention, or maybe a little something special, just to let her know you’re thinking about her.
That’s right, it’s Mother’s Day, people. Look alive!
However, if you’re need of an appropriate gesture so as to honor the first lady in your life, don’t sweat it just yet. Yes, like your mother was when you got sick, fell down, needed a hug or were about to run out clean clothes — I’m here for you.
Say it with cinema, dear reader: Get mom a movie.
Better yet, get her a movie … and then watch it with her.
Here are my recommendations:
1 ‘This is Where I Leave You’ (2014)
Based on the book by Jonathan Tropper, “This is Where I Leave You” is an enjoyable dramedy that I think has a good shot at pleasing a crowd of diverse tastes.
The gist of it: When their father passes away, four grown siblings are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens.
Awesome turns abound here, with performances by the likes of Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Timothy Olyphant, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn and — of course — Jane Fonda, who plays the mother of this messed up tribe.
2 ‘Freaky Friday”(2003)
Say what you will about the highs of oh-so-very lows of Lindsay Lohan’s career, we’re all here for the same thing: Jamie Lee Curtis.
The gist of it: An overworked widow and her rebellious teenage daughter do not get along (shocker). Then, when they suddenly switch bodies thanks to a mystical fortune cookie mixup, each is forced to adapt to the other’s life. Bonding and understanding — and bit of hilarity — ensue.
It’s not a great movie, but Curtis elevates the material at every turn and it’s a hard film to hate. It received positive reviews from critics upon release and earned over $160 million worldwide (it was made for about $20 million).
Certainly, the story seems to resonate with people: It was Disney’s third film adaptation of the source novel, following the 1976 version, starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster and the 1995 TV version, starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann.
Crank this one up and walk a mile in mom’s shoes.
3 ‘Psycho’ (1960)
“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”
I guess the propriety of this pick depends on the kind of relationship you have with your own mother. The more familiar ol’ Norman’s troubles, the more you should probably consider reaching for lighter fare.
But, then again, if you and mom are cool, it is a classic.
The gist of it: We all go a little mad sometimes.
It’s often ranked as one of the greatest films ever made, almost certainly it’s the greatest of Alfred Hitchcock’s storied career, and it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by U.S. Library of Congress in 1992.
From the shower to the basement and back again, “Psycho” not only holds up, it remains a vital piece of cinematic history worth a re-watch at every possible opportunity.
*Alternative pick: If you’re somehow over “Psycho” but still long for creepy, matricidal mood, consider checking out “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene” (2017), a comprehensive documentary examining the filming of the iconic shower scene, the “man behind the curtain,” and the murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.
4 ‘Ricki and the Flash’ (2015)
Two words, people: Meryl “You’re Welcome” Streep.
It’s worth checking out.
The gist of it: Ricki (Streep) chased her dreams of becoming a famous rock star by abandoning her family. Now, having not exactly topped the charts, she gets a chance to put things right when, years later, her ex-husband asks her to visit Indianapolis and help her estranged daughter through a difficult time.
This one’s a complicated tale, certainly it’s another dramedy, but one that’s decidedly more up than down by the time the credit’s roll.
Moms — even the rough-edged ones — rock pretty hard.
5 ‘Forrest Gump’ (1994)
I defy you to name a more dedicated movie mama than Mrs. Gump.
She’s a real smart lady.
She sure does care about her boy’s schooling.
She stays home to run a business while her husband goes on a really, really long vacation.
And, most importantly, she has a way of always explaining things so you understand.
The gist of it: Momma always said life is like … well, you get it.
Except that with his film, unlike in life, you know exactly what you’re going to get: a nearly perfect 2 hours and 22 minutes of movie.
Brought to iconic life by the peerless Sally “You Like Me!” Field, Forrest’s mom is a highlight in a film full of immortal moments.
“The World According to Garp” (1982) – Glenn Close as Jenny Fields
“Lonesome Dove” (1989) – Anjelica Huston as Clara Allen
“Mommie Dearest” (1981) – Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford
“Postcards from the Edge” (1990) – Shirley MacLaine as Doris Mann
“Poltergeist” (19892) – JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling