10 Great Movies about Moms
A celebration of Moms in cinema
In the 1974 film, Claudine, actress Diahann Carroll (pictured above) shines as a single mother of six who meets a garbage man Roop, played by James Earl Jones, as they try to navigate love and welfare in 1970’s Harlem. At times hilarious, it’s one of the few films of the time starring black mothers about black mothers. As we approach Mother’s Day 2021 (May 9), I thought it’d be apropos to look at some of my favorite films about Moms. Narrowing it down to 10 was challenging, By the end, we’ll see how many of them you agree with.
10 Great Movies about Moms
1. Terms of Endearment – James L Brooks classic film about an overbearing Mom looking for love while trying to manage her daughters family problems is a complete film. It somehow manages to cover more than the film itself can handle and Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson give hall of fame performances. terms of endearment trailer
2. Baby Boom – If you’ve read anything of mine so far and not to insinuate that you have, but I love comedy. I’d rather laugh than anything else and Diane Keaton in this role as a yuppie who inherits a baby is a good belly laugh. Sam Shepard plays a great comic and romantic scene partner in a throwback to the screwball comedies of the past. Baby Boom is smart, sharp and full of heart. baby boom trailer
3. The Help – Despite Viola Davis recent quote about regrets making the film, The Help, Viola regrets making The Help, I found the film entertaining and important. The stirring portrayal of black women as domestic servants in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi, illustrates how black women have raised this country since slavery. The rise to prominence of women like VP Kamala Harris and Stacy Abrams and even Viola Davis herself are direct correlations. The protagonist being an idealistic white woman makes the story for blacks feel like a stretch, but the performances in this heartfelt film are stellar. The Help trailer
4. Steel Magnolias – Sally Field plays the overbearing but kind and deeply worried mother in this 1989 tear jerker. This touching story of female friendships and the bonds that form in the beauty salon that are forever lasting. The comic ensemble is the best Hollywood has to offer and watching them trade one-liners is worth the revisit. steel magnolias trailer
5. Erin Brockovich – I like watching powerful women in film. As a result, Julia Roberts delivers in this Oscar winning performance. As a single mother who takes a job as a legal assistant, this film shows the power of the American working-class woman. During the pandemic, nearly 3 million American women have left the labor force. Watching Eric Brockovich perfectly illustrates how that cannot stand. Erin Brockovich trailer
6. The Joy Luck Club – A phenomenal film about what it’s like to be both a Chinese and American woman as examined through the eyes of mothers and daughters. Stylish, heartfelt and emotional to its core, this adaptation of Amy Tans’ novel makes a smooth transition to the screen. Another exemplary cast of underrated Asian actors who should be far more prominent in Hollywood storytelling. The joy luck club trailer
7. The Kids are All Right – Annette Bening and Julianne Moore are the ultimate modern moms in this comedy/drama. An LGBT couple decide to bring in the biological father of their 2 children and drama mixed with hilarity ensue. These actors, along with Mark Ruffalo, are at the tops of their games in this witty film. the kids are all right trailer
8. Kramer vs. Kramer – I’m not sure I’d recommend this incredible film for viewing with mom on Mother’s day, but if you’ve never seen it, it’s a must. As usual, it’s disappointing to learn that Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffmann hated each other while making it. Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman hated each other while making Kramer v Kramer. There is, however, a thin line between love and hate and such has been the case many times in Hollywood. Despite that, this is a heartbreaking work of genius about divorce and a mother’s undying love for her child. Kramer v Kramer trailer
9. The Sound of Music – The classic. Not one character in this film is a biological mother and yet the power of women and the motherly instinct are in full force. Pure Rodgers and Hammerstein entertainment, this Robert Wise production soars as Julie Andrews plays the ultimate governess of 7 children. One of the few musicals to win the Academy award for Best Picture. The sound of music trailer
10. The Blind Side – A tour-de-force performance from Sandra Bullock as the mother with a heart of gold garnered her an Oscar for Best Actress in 2010. On a personal note, I worked with Sandra in 1989 on her first job, the tv show Working Girl and she was as sweet then as she seems now. Her generosity is mirrored in her portrayal of real-life mother Leigh Anne Tuohy and as a result we pull for her. A feel-good film. The blind side trailer
Last year’s blog about Moms, Here’s to the Moms, I wrote about my mom, Ruby, and how not having her with us anymore is a daily challenge. Mother’s Day is different. For example, of all the memories I have of my mother, Mother’s Day memories conjure a bit of stress. Crowded restaurants with poor service, trying to find a decent last-minute gift, being late to church. As a result, Mother’s day doesn’t make me feel sad, more relieved really. I was blessed to have a mother who put humor as a high priority, laughter was omnipresent. Watching a movie and eating and spending time together are my fondest memories of my mother. She was also my biggest fan. I’ve reposted the video from last year’s blog in my tribute to all moms. The messages from Amy’s Machine by Amy Borokowsky went over very well. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mother-figures.
What’s your favorite ‘Mom’ movie?
What a beautiful post Chris! Your Mom sure did a lovely job.
Happy Mother’s day all (and to single fathers having to play that role too. Maybe we should add Alan Arkin’s Popi to that list.:)
I’d also suggest Moonstruck even though the story is not focused on the mom, Olympia Dukakis plays such a classic and endearing mom in it. I’d also suggest Despicable Me but judging by the title, that’s more reflective of sons. Just kidding really. That has nothing to do with moms. Just another bad joke. But, hey, if it wasn’t for my bad jokes, people wouldn’t appreciate everyone else’s good jokes. :).
Love that video too. Hysterical! And great pics. I never met your mom but am guessing that’s where a lot of your kind and funny personality comes from.
Mike, I love your comments and they always make me laugh. Thank you
Such sweet pictures of our Mother.
Memories of your mom…my American mom as I always refer to her will last forever. Lovely tribute to her and to all moms. Thanks Chris.
Thank you Lydia, nice to hear from you and hope all is well!
There is so much of your mom’s personality wrapped up in you. I miss her so much. Never found another spiritual “ mother”.
Loved the video montage! The warm smiles exude happiness and good times had by all. Although it’s a tear jerker, “Imitation of Life” is one of my favorite mom movies
Great choice Deborah!
Thanks Beverly. She was an amazing lady!