As a mom, I’ve found watching movies in which mothers play a major role to be a win-win situation. Movie moms who are brave, determined and resourceful make wonderful role models. (And if they’re sexy to boot, they give the rest of us hope that it’s not just our toddlers who think we’re beautiful.) Moms from Hell, on the other hand, give the rest of us the satisfaction of knowing that there are worse screw-ups in the world than we are. So for GeekDad’s build-up to Mother’s Day, here are five movies I believe GeekMoms are bound to relish:
1. Motherhood. Uma Thurman is an artsy, intelligent mommy blogger piecing together a family life in a rent-controlled Greenwich Village apartment. But as a mom she’s a total incompetent — and as a blogger, she’s whiny and humorless. She spends her morning sneaking a cigarette while waiting in the car with her preschooler for alternate side of the street parking to take effect. Then it’s off to the park, where Thurman sneers at the helicopter and celebrity- stalking moms she hangs out with. By the time she’s having a meltdown while picking up crappy plastic goodies and a trendy cake for her kindergartner’s birthday party, it’s clear — if you’ve always been intimidated by Uma Thurman, this is the movie for you.
2. Compromising Positions. I remembered this movie fondly, but it turns out, mistakenly. Although it involves a Long Island housewife and mother who solves a murder, this isn’t the one where the dirty deed is overheard on a baby monitor. However, Susan Sarandon as a bored former newspaper reporter does a fine job of sneaking around investigating her eccentric if suspicious neighbors, while exasperating the local detective (Raul Julia). This is the smart, funny, and entertaining SAHM we’d all love to be. Adapted from the equally wonderful novel by Susan Isaacs.
3. Anywhere But Here. Susan Sarandon again, but this time she’s the evil mom who charms strangers everywhere she goes but only embarrasses and disappoints her daughter Queen Amadala, I mean Natalie Portman. This movie earns extra geek points for being adapted from the excellent book by Mona Simpson. Simpson is Steve Jobs’ sister, raised by the parents who gave him up for adoption.
4. Terminator 2. She’s buff. She’s fierce. Sarah Connor is gonna save her son and save the world with the help of a big robot with an Austrian accent. Like Ripley from Aliens, she’s a sci-fi heroine who fights the scariest monsters like a mama lion protecting her cub.
5. Chocolat. What single mom wouldn’t want Johnny Depp as her Gypsy lover? The lovely Juliette Binoche enchants an uptight town in postwar France with her magical chocolates. A hard choice between this and Waitress. (What single mom-to-be wouldn’t want Nathan Fillion as her ob/gyn?) Like Chocolat, Waitress is another movie about the mysterious healing power of food, with Keri Russell as the inventor of impossibly marvelous pies. More down to Earth, but equally sweet. Because hey, moms deserve a little romance, too.