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Movie night with Mom
You can celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day in a variety of ways, from giving her a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift to quoting one of these motherhood quotes. As an alternative, you can do something together on or around the occasion—and what better way to do so by watching a movie about moms (or at least one that has an awesome/relatable/human mom in it)? We’ve compiled a list of 30 of our favorite mom-friendly flicks for you to enjoy this Mother’s Day. . Consider organizing a “Watch Party” if you and Mom are socially isolated. Our Mother’s Day celebration ideas are also worth a look.
1. Mother’s Day (2016)
If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day movie that’s a little out of the ordinary, this might be it. In addition to Valentine’s Day and New Years Eve, Mother’s Day is one of the late great Garry Marshall’s holiday ensemble films. In this romantic comedy, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Aniston tackle the many facets of motherhood. The characters each had disagreements with their children and their own mothers. Margo Martindale’s acting as an overbearing mother who must face the truth about her daughter’s life is outstanding. Enjoy a lighthearted look at the challenges that mothers face when it comes to embracing stepmoms and coping with adoption in this documentary.
2. Terms of Endearment (1983)
Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger appear in this 1980s dramedy about a mother and daughter who can’t help but love each other despite their constant arguing. Actress MacLaine received the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a mother who can’t let go of her daughter. Winger’s portrayal of a free-spirited girl who craves her mother’s praise is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Film that celebrates the bond between mothers and daughters.
3. Little Women (2019)
This 2019 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868–69 classic, Little Women, tells the narrative of four sisters, but Laura Dern’s Marmee is the rock that pulls the family together while her husband is at war. Four very different girls were raised by their mother in the Civil War era in a contemporary, star-studded dramatization. With Mom, you’ll be able to laugh and cry as well as be appreciative for your relationships with other women in your life.
4. Stella Dallas (1937)
Her performance as a mother in this 1930s film on the sacrifices mothers make for the benefit of their children is an unforgettable one. The dramatic plot revolves around a mother’s desire to raise her daughter in a more affluent society by climbing the social ladder herself. Stanwyck’s performance as a lady who can’t shake her low-class roots is a rousing and heartfelt one. This film offers a scathing examination of social stratification and the difficulty of tying the knot. It’s a great film from the golden age of Hollywood that still appeals to moviegoers today.
5. Imitation of Life (1959)
Douglas Sirk’s campy and caustic film stars Lana Turner and Sandra Dee as a theatrical mother-daughter duo. As an actress who is unable to control her narcissism, Turner is paired with Juanita Moore, who plays both her best friend and maid with equal patience. In addition to exploring the bond between mothers and daughters, the film also examines race relations and the social role of autonomous, single women. The costumes sparkle, the actors shine, and the picture nonetheless carries a powerful emotional punch despite its slick presentation. Be prepared to cry when the film comes to an emotional close.
6. Postcards from the Edge (1990)
Carrie Fisher wrote and stars in a dramedy with Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep as mother and daughter? Count us in! It was Fisher’s novel of the same name that inspired this script, which she adapted on her own memories of growing up with her mother Debbie Reynolds. Suzanne, the drug-addled actress played by Meryl Streep, must reluctantly move in with her mother, who is also an actress but has a much squeakier public persona, making Suzanne detest the woman. Because of the way they end up supporting each other, you’ll be rooting for them.
7. Mother (1996)
This dramedy, which also features Debbie Reynolds (in her first major-league role in over two decades! ), was co-written and starring Albert Brooks. Brooks portrays a writer who, following his second divorce, begins to wonder if he has any issues with his motherhood. To find out what went wrong, he moves back home with his mother.
8. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)
It was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Ellen Burstyn as a single mother. In the company of her bright and impressionable young boy, she sets out to make it on her own. At Mel’s Diner, she ends herself busing tables. Based on Alice in Wonderland and set in the same diner, this sitcom was born. Kris Kristofferson appears as a rough-around-the-edges artist who provides a second chance at romance. Burstyn was awarded the Best Actress Oscar for her effortless portrayal of a lady who overcomes her hardships. Jodie Foster, still a youngster, plays the bright buddy of Burnstyn’s little boy in the film.
9. Soul Food (1997)
After the death of their mother, a family must find a way to move forward without its matriarch. Mother Joe, the mother of three sisters who live in Chicago, gathers with her family every Sunday for dinner. After the death of Mother Joe, however, family tensions begin to rise. Mother Joe’s young grandson devises a plan to urge the sisters and their significant others to strive toward healing—knowing that it’s what their mother would want them to do. (There’s a sequel in the works!)
10. Bad Moms (2016)
Moms were swooning over this homage to the joys of raising a wayward child. PTA meetings and school meals may be stressful, so grab your mom friends and settle in for some loud comedy. They each shine as mothers attempting to keep it together in the face of ordinary mother madness—and at least one straying husband. It was a great hit with the audience since it was so relatable and at the same time so funny.
11. Motherhood (2009)
OK, I’ll go with a more obvious one. New mom Uma Thurman plays a West Village parent who faces the seemingly simple task of preparing her 2-year-old son’s birthday party. The film is a slice-of-life depiction of a single day in the life of a young woman.
12. Because I Said So (2007)
Mandy Moore and Diane Keaton feature in this romantic comedy. Because Moore is Keaton’s eldest and only child still living at home, her mother is taking matters into her own hands. Not everything goes as planned when Mom is in charge of finding a mate.
13. Stepmom (1998)
Ed Harris’ ex-wife and the mother of their two children is played by Susan Sarandon. As the “stepmom,” Julia Roberts is a much younger woman. Despite the tension between these two ladies, the film ultimately serves as a beautiful example of how women can come together for the greater good of the family. The lovely country estate of Sarandon’s character, with its rich natural surroundings, is the setting for a significant portion of the film. When the movie takes a heartbreaking turn that you may not expect, bring a box of tissues.
14. The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Following a diverse group of older Chinese immigrant ladies living in San Francisco with their adult daughters, this film is based on the ground-breaking novel from 1989. There aren’t many other Mother’s Day films in the National Film Registry that can claim to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” as the Library of Congress defines it.
15. Mamma Mia! (2008)
On a beautiful Greek island, Meryl Streep sings and dances to ABBA songs. You’re right there! Streep’s character is getting ready for her daughter Amanda Seyfried’s wedding in this charming musical. Because she doesn’t know who her father is, her daughter invites three suitors from her mother’s past to the party. Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgrd are now on board. Everyone is also singing. Is there anything else you require?
16. Mildred Pierce (1945)
Mildred Pierce is portrayed by Joan Crawford in this film. With her excellent cooking abilities and her husband’s lack of employment, she provides for him but he can’t manage her independence, so they divorce. She’ll be juggling parenthood and running her own business before you know it. Rather than pouting, she pursues her dreams and soon has a prosperous restaurant business. She’s also being probed for murder, because this is a classic noir flick! Definitely one of our top picks for the finest movies to watch during Women’s History Month, this is a tale of a strong independent woman.
17. The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening feature in this narrative about family and adoption as a couple. Things get out of hand when their adult children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) demand to know the truth about their sperm donor father (Mark Ruffalo). There are many excellent performances that portray the stress, agitation, and love at the heart of every family. However, the film is a monument to the strength and power of mothers, anchored by Bening’s widely lauded and nominated performance.
18. Sounder (1972)
Cicely Tyson was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in this heartfelt drama. The plot follows a family of sharecroppers who face unspeakable injustice in the 1930s, and is based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name. Tyson’s remarkable performance as a mother after her husband is sentenced to a brutally harsh sentence for a trivial crime shows her strength and perseverance. This film honors the strength and love of a Black family and the mother at its core.
19. Erin Brockovich (2000)
As a single mother of three, Julia Roberts proves that you should never underestimate the power of single mothers. She portrays Erin Brockovich, a real-life legal activist who helped win a civil claim for victims of an environmental disaster who were victimized by a corporation. As Erin’s cranky boss, Albert Finney excels. As for her sweetheart of a guy, Aaron Eckhart plays him on his motorcycle. This hard-working superwoman of a mother has no trouble uncovering corruption while carrying a baby on her hip in high heels.
20. Lady Bird (2017)
At the time of its release, this Greta Gerwig picture set a new Rotten Tomatoes record. Taking on the roles of a mother and daughter in early 2000s California, Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf provide powerful performances. At its core, it is a story about coming of age as Christine (Ronan), who has “re-named” herself Lady Bird, discovers who she is and what she wants as she finishes off her final year of high school. Be sure to have plenty of kleenex on hand.
21. Frozen II (2019)
Because of the loss of both of the sisters’ parents early on in the first film, Frozen and its sequel are primarily seen as films about the strength of sisterhood. There is no Mother’s Day movie that is not a Frozen movie. There are many poignant moments in Frozen in which the sisters are shown to have learned a great deal about themselves as well as their family’s history. It’s the one you’ve all seen!
22. Mermaids (1990)
In this comedy starring Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci, Cher takes on the role of a single mother. The unusual parenting approach of Cher’s character alienates her daughters, who finally end up in a small Massachusetts town adjacent to a convent because of this. The municipality has a different impact on mothers and daughters. Both Ryder and Ricci were honored for their work.
23. Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
While her mother, Keke Palmer’s Akeelah, encourages her to pursue her dream of competing in the National Spelling Bee, Akeelah is unable to overcome her mother’s objections. She has to deal with the enormous pressures placed on her to do well, as well as the damaging stereotypes that permeate the competition. Oh, and Angela Bassett is her mother, in the film (who, spoilers, eventually gets on board).
24. Freaky Friday (2003)
Mother and daughter trade bodies and must figure out how to get back to each other’s life till they can do it again. With Mom and some popcorn, curl up in front of the TV and watch the Jamie Lee Curtis–Lindsay Lohan version for a good laugh.
25. Dumplin’ (2018)
Willowdean Dickson, played by Jennifer Aniston, is a plus-size girl who adores Dolly Parton and has a strained relationship with her mother, a former beauty queen. When she was little, she was referred to as “Dumplin'” by her mother. To show her disapproval of her mother, Will enters a beauty pageant as an act of defiance. The results of the competition as well as their unexpected reunion surprise them both.
26. Anywhere but Here (1999)
Susan Sarandon and a young Natalie Portman feature in this mother-daughter drama. Both mom and daughter are laid back and carefree as they navigate an unexpected move to Beverly Hills and their diverging dreams in an attempt to find a middle ground.
27. Room (2015)
Make sure you see Brie Larson’s Oscar-winning performance in this heartfelt picture and you’ll realize why it’s a must-see on any list of Mother’s Day movies. A son was born to Larson’s Joy, who was kidnapped and held captive in a single room (Jacob Tremblay, in his breakout performance). Her five-year-old kid is completely unaware of the outer world. It’s a struggle for Joy and her son to adjust both to a new world, as well as her own parents’ confused reactions to their child, after she enacts a plan to rescue them both.
28. 20th Century Women (2016)
Annette Bening stars as a single mother in 1979 California who is attempting to connect with her teen son. For guidance and assistance, she seeks out to her 20-something tenant, Greta Gerwig, and her son’s closest friend, Elle Fanning. She ends up receiving more than she bargained for. The film, which was nominated for a Golden Globe, is about love, society’s view of women, and, of course, motherhood.
29. The Guilt Trip (2012)
This Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen-starrer is a great addition to your Mother’s Day movie list. It is revealed that Rogen’s science-savvy entrepreneur is preparing to embark on an epic cross-country road trip, and he invites his mother to join him. With her continuous comments and interventions, Streisand’s Joyce keeps things lively in the manner only a concerned mother can.
30. Away We Go (2009)
Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski are a comedic ideal match in this limited-release picture that reveals how parents begin to plan for their child’s future even before they are born. When Verona (Rudolph) learns she’s pregnant, she and Burt (Krasinski), who had been having trouble finding a place to call home, realize they must make a permanent move. Outside expectations to parent in a certain way are balayed with disappointments from their own families, which is a difficult balance to strike.