Catch up on some much-deserved bonding time with our beloved mothers by watching these feel-good movies together
Mother’s Day is upon us and it’s the perfect time to celebrate and show these loving figures the adoration they rightfully deserve. Take them out on a wonderful meal, spoil them with a shopping spree, and most importantly, remind them how much you love and appreciate them.
Cap off the festivities with a watch or two, or maybe just celebrate with a movie marathon. We’ve prepared a list of 12 films (that might tug at the heartstrings) to watch this Mother’s Day.
Featuring the likes of Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and Ed Harris, ‘Stepmom’ tells the story of a troublesome co-parenting scenario made much more complicated by cancer. Jackie (Sarandon) and Luke Harrison (Harris) are a divorced couple, parents to children Anna and Ben—Luke is also living together with his new girlfriend, Isabel Kelly (Roberts), a successful fashion photographer. Jackie and Isabel are initially cold to one another but through spending time together and the revelation of Jackie’s cancer, the pair learn to accept and be at peace with each other.
‘Stepmom’ goes beyond your typical cancer sob story, instead also speaking to mothers all over the globe with scenarios and experiences they can all relate and have a laugh to (aka Isabel’s terrible parenting and growth as a stepmother). The film also does well to tug at the heartstrings, showing the two mother’s apprehensions concerning their children following Jackie’s eventual passing.
“But the truth is, she doesn’t have to choose. She can have us both, love us both. She will be a better person because of me and because of you. I have their past, you can have their future.”
Mamma Mia! (2008)
‘Mamma Mia!’ follows bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) as she invites three men who previously had an intimate relationship with her mother (Meryl Streep) in an effort to discover who her father truly is. It’s a load of awkwardness dumped into what should be an exciting period of preparation for a wedding, but the film does well to reinforce its message of a love that surpasses all norms and customs. Sophie sought to discover her biological father but later on, decided to forego having paternity confirmed with the three—now she has three fathers. She also desired to find her true father so that she could have him give her away during the wedding, but later on had her mother be the one to walk her down the aisle.
It’s a given that parents and their children will always have disagreements; one side hell-bent on doing what they think is right for their kids, and the other, tired of the restrictions and the overbearingness. In this case, front and center is Merida the free-spirited bow-bearing princess, and Elinor, the loving yet tradition-bound queen of the Dunbroch clan. ‘Brave’ simply tells us to communicate our grievances to avoid needless confrontation and hurt feelings. By calmly sharing your thoughts and opinions perhaps we can all “mend the bond, torn by pride”.
Marry Me (2022)
‘Marry Me’ follows pop superstar Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) as she is caught blindsided by the infidelity of her fiancé, Bastian (Maluma), just moments before their concert/wedding ceremony. Distraught by what she had just discovered, she decides to do away with rationality, impulsively marrying math teacher Charlie Gilbert (Owen Wilson) who was simply holding a “marry me” sign in the concert.
The film is a wholesome and easy watch for the entire family. The premise is quite absurd and yet it is endearing to see these figures navigate their way through such absurdity. Unfortunately, however, not once did Wilson say “wow” during the film, but still, his performance was pretty good, it makes up for it.
The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Generational trauma is a thing and yet ‘The Joy Luck Club’ tells the story of powerful women who across decades and across oceans fought tooth and nail to end such pain. It is a wonderful story of how these wonderful mothers sought to create not only a better life for themselves, but for their children as well, free from the experiences they once had to endure.
Another Jennifer Lopez project, ‘Enough’ is emotional and gritty, unlike the previously mentioned title. The film tells the story of Slim Hiller (Lopez) who discovers that her “perfect husband” is not only unfaithful but is an abuser as well. Desperate to protect herself and her daughter, together with the help of friends and family, she is able to move away and reside in safety. But with her husband unrelenting in wanting to have his daughter back, Slim is forced to stop running to finally face him.
Behind the empowered-woman-stands-up-to-her-oppressor trope, ‘Enough’ also tells the story of a mother’s undying love in the face of overwhelming odds. The movie is a love letter to all the mothers out there who have always tried to put on a brave face for their children.
First Wives Club (1996)
What’s scarier than a dissatisfied woman? Three dissatisfied, unhappy, and angry women. ‘First Wives Club’ starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton, follows the adventures of three women pushed to the brink by their husbands. The trio band together to find their strength and against all odds, give their partners a taste of their own medicine, all while helping other women in similar situations.
Love, Rosie (2014)
A love story for the ages, ‘Love, Rosie’ follows best friends Alex (Sam Claflin) and Rosie (Lily Collins) as they navigate through life’s ups and downs and unexpected challenges as they make their way to a relationship that’s been characterized by a lack of timing. The film at its core is a love story decades in the making, but behind all that, is a mother who has had to sacrifice everything for her daughter. Rosie for the longest time had always aspired to run her own hotel, but the sudden arrival of a child born out of a night with Greg (Christian Cooke) put everything on hold. For all the sleepless nights and the unrealized dreams, here’s to the mothers that gave it their all for us.
Mother’s Day (2016)
The film starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, and Jason Sudeikis follows three interconnecting stories of people burdened by unaddressed issues revolving around their parents, and their efforts in conquering these.
It’s common knowledge that you don’t necessarily need the Mother’s Day holiday to show appreciation to your mom. However, for some of us who may be in strained or complicated relationships, or are just outright shy, a period dedicated to it may be just the kick that we all need. And as Mother’s Day approaches, may we find the courage and the inspiration to bury the hatchet.
Freaky Friday (2003)
Again, parents and their children will always have their disagreements, borne out of a difference in age that makes it hard to relate to one another. And sometimes, all it takes is to walk a mile in their shoes to understand where they’re coming from and to see things from their perspective. ‘Freaky Friday’ takes this literally by having Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan swap bodies on the backdrop of a testy mother-daughter relationship.
Lady Bird (2017)
A mother’s love knows no bounds. Lady Bird, played by Saoirse Ronan is by no means the perfect child, she’s actually quite the a**hole. And yet through thick and thin, her mother, played by Laurie Metcalf remains by her side even if she doesn’t want her to. Realizing how much others care for us does not often come so easily and we can fall into a state of loneliness and despair. Here’s to hoping you come across that realization without the help of an alcohol-induced hospitalization, and give your mom a hug while you’re at it.
Turning Red (2022)
Literally Brave’s Asian relative, Disney’s ‘Turning Red’ follows Mei and her mother Ming as they learn to better understand each other on the backdrop of a surprise panda transformation; does the premise sound familiar? But instead of just simply recognizing where the other is coming from, the film also emphasizes dealing with and ending past generational trauma.