Mother’s Day is here, it’s that time of the year when everyone collectively has the urge to call their moms, shower them with appreciation and if they aren’t around, miss them dearly. We don’t exactly need a separate day to celebrate the many forms of motherhood but we’ll just about take any excuse to get into the holiday spirit, especially in quarantine. Now, we can’t carry out our usual Mother’s Day traditions if they involve going outdoors amidst the pandemic but we can always fall back on the one approved pass-time – watching movies!
Cinema has so many representations of the beauty, the raw reality and the complexity of motherhood. And our mothers need to see that there are portrayals they can relate to and discover by themselves or with their children. Moreover, it can be hard to find something that’s both censored for desi moms and meaningful to suit the occasion. So, we find ourselves celebrating Mother’s Day (social distancing version) with movies that you can watch with your mom and they all fall in the ‘feel-good’ category. If you don’t live with your mom, you can always stream movies together virtually. Here’s a list of 10 best Mother’s Day movies to watch with your mom:
Mamma Mia! is a classic mother-daughter movie and yes, it will present you with the opportunity to jump up from the couch and sing some Abba tunes with your mom. Meryl Streep plays the mother and more often than not, mothers (like everyone else) love the treasured actress. Donna is a great mom and her relationship with Sophie is so sweet, it’ll make you and your mom melt and in a good way.
Devki is a loving wife, and a mother of two beautiful daughters, she seemingly has a perfect happy family. Yet, somehow the true happiness of being a mother eludes her. Arya, a sensitive girl cannot accept Devki and her love wholeheartedly. Arya believes, a daughter comes into a mother’s life, but a mother does not enter the life of a daughter. Devki patiently waits for Arya’s love and acceptance as she believes only a mother can truly understand the silence of her child. An unfortunate incident , further distances Arya and Devki, to a point of no return. In such a situation a mother has to make a choice not between what is wrong or right but between what is wrong and very wrong.
What Stepmom really gets right about the experience of being a mom is that it’s different for everyone. Often as mothers women are compared to a certain ideal and that’s wretchedly wrong. The wonderful Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon (both Academy Award-winning actresses) play two mothers in this heartfelt film that sees a family through the process of divorce. Julia’s Isabel is the titular stepmom who must step-up into the shoes of her fiance’s kids’ mother (Susan’s Jackie). While it starts out competitive everything changes when Jackie is diagnosed with cancer. I dare you not to cry watching this and to get perfect earworm ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ out of your head.
Classic literature has some of the finest women and mothers. Mary March or Marmee, as she is called in Little Women played by Laura Dern who is perfect in everything she does, is a rock to her daughters and an overall strong woman. Through the course of the film, she teaches her daughters to be kind, hard-working even encouraging them to take on unconventional occupations. Need I mention that she does this single-handedly with her husband away at the war? Yeah, she even finds time for volunteer work. It’s no wonder her daughters turned out to be the most affectionate, talented little women.
Moms embracing their individuality is something that we need to see more often in and out of movies. This is especially true for desi moms. English Vinglish is one of Sridevi’s last movies and it has the most fun yet wholesome plot. The film features Sridevi as the charming Shashi who in an attempt to learn English embarks on a journey of self-exploration that takes her into uncharted territory. What she really learns though, is her own value for herself and the people around her.
Kangana Ranaut starrer Panga explores the lack of career options for married women (because family!) and the many alternatives that open up should they try anyway. The movie is all about second chances, familial support and physical and emotional strength of a woman who also happens to be a mother. Moreover, Panga is a motivational sports movie that will get you hyped up and cheering for its protagonist. What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than watching two separate aspects of womanhood collide in a sports-centric movie?
You have probably already watched this film considering it is a classic comedy. Hilarious mother-daughter dynamics, anyone? It doesn’t get more obvious than Freaky Friday. Tess played by Lindsay Lohan happens to switch bodies with Anna her mother played by Jaime Lee Curtis. The two don’t have an ideal bond which means they don’t get along at all! Freaky Friday has so much rewatch value, you’ll never not love it and you’ll sit through it without finding a renewed appreciation for your mom.
Terms of Endearment
This movie through its fantastically complex mother-daughter duo will make you question what motherhood and womanhood in general mean. Mom Aurora and Daughter Emma navigate through problems in Emma’s marital life and Aurora’s quest for true love. They fight, they make up through the film and you’ll definitely need a box of tissues (or ice-cream tub to cry in) to sit through it. The film is for married and unmarried mothers and despite a few problems, emerges as a total winner.
Another movie about troubled bonds with your mom, Lady Bird is a must-watch. While the film is a coming-of-age story, you’ll find plenty of material to chat about with your mom out of it. Saoirse Ronan plays Christine who has a tumultuous senior year and wants to get away from her hometown and her family. But the takeaway of the movie for moms could be a better understanding of growing up in and away from home. If any movie can explain the urge to grow up on your own independent terms while harnessing the power of your roots, it’s this one.
The Fundamentals of Caring
This film isn’t as much about motherhood as it is about being a caregiver. The Fundamentals of Caring is about loss, suffering and how maternal instinct trumps all in the face of adversity. Starring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts and Selena Gomez, the movie is about a writer who after a loss takes a care-giving course. Here he meets Elsa and her disabled son Trevor who yearns to go for a road trip. This one is another tearjerker, you’ve been cautioned.
Mothers have a way of believing that’s filled with undeterred resolve and they will believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself. Secret Superstar is about this dream support system that so many of us are lucky enough to have in a coming-of-age story. Zaira wants to be a singer but it’s not what her father wants. Of course, there’s the classic method of asking your mom to step in and we know its pretty no-fail. This is one ambitious plot of feel-good you need to witness with your mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there, fictional, real, cat parents, you are doing a great job running the world. And thank you because humankind would literally not exist without you.