Mommy Dearest

Happy belated Mother's Day everyone! How did I spend mine? By watching a double feature picked out by my own dearest, beloved and wonderful mother. The lineup? The Guilt Trip starring Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand followed up by Albert Brooks' Mother; two movies featuring sons having to deal with their very motherly mothers.  It was probably punishment for telling her she reminded me exactly of the mother in 50/50 and she felt it was her duty to show me a couple of worse movie moms. In her defense, she hadn't seen The Guilt Trip...she just roped me into suffering along with her while viewing it. The film was pretty forgettable and I can't say I really recommend it. I definitely preferred Mother of the two, but if neither of those films scratches your mom issues where they itch, you could always check out Brave, Freaky Friday, Steel Magnolias or of course Mommie Dearest to name a few. In the meantime, in honor of all moms everywhere I decided to celebrate a few of the truly memorable moms in film and television by compiling for you a nice list. We'll start with the television mom's!

10 Memorable Moms From TV and Film


Lucille Bluth. They don't get any better than this. This master manipulating matriarch (how's that for some awesome alliteration?) has to be one of my favorite characters on this show (which is saying A LOT.) Lucille is adored by her son Buster, and pretty well hated by the rest of her offspring. Yet when push comes to shove, none of them would ever actually admit to her face that she's been a "horrible mother." And really....she has been a horrible, yet hilarious mother. It's hard to say who she had the worst influence on, but her legacy of being a bad mother has most definitely been passed down to her daughter Lindsay Bluth Funke. Will the buck stop at Maeby? Probably not. 


All that needs to happen to have the coolest mom around is for her to have gotten pregnant at 16, and then moved to the quirkiest town possible to raise you and discover her own independence. Then you will hardly be mother and daughter. You'll be BFF's! Not always the best scenario though. Plus you'll have to learn the talent of speaking a mile a minute and being as quirky as can be....but at least you won't have to put up with Emily Gilmore as your mom (settling for her as a Grandma is enough!)

                                                               MARGE SIMPSON - 

Growing up, I never particularly found Marge to be that funny of a character on The Simpsons. Looking back now on those older episodes now that I'm older too, I really can see the special mom humor that she brings to the show and I love it. Sure she doesn't have the most glamorous life or husband by any means....but she always makes the best of a sticky situation and devotes herself to her family and life as a homemaker. She's as patient a wife and mother as you'll ever find and honestly she really has her moments of hilarity.


Carol Brady just always has the answer to everything doesn't she? She's pretty much the perfect wife and mother (although she gets a lot of help by hiring Alice to do all of her dirty work for her...) But I must say it's unrealistic impressive how easily their families were able to blend and that she could not only be an outstanding mother to her own kids, but act seamlessly as the mother to her husband's three boys. Really though, if you have an answer to a perplexing question it's probably just best to go to her in the first place before you wind up on some crazy Brady adventure.

                                                           ESTELLE COSTANZA - 

Sure, Jerry's mom is the one who reminds me more of my own mom, but George's mom's insanity is the clincher for her inclusion on the list. Her shrill voice, her demanding attitude and constant berating of Georgie are all just hilarious to watch. She might just be the mother on this list that I'd want the very least! (I'd probably rather turn out like a Bluth than a George Costanza!) Well actually scratch that...we've still gotta get to Psycho. But back to Estelle. Her existence is a huge piece of the puzzle into the character of George, and her scenes are always just a joy to watch.


We have Mrs. Gump to thank for one of the most quoted film lines in the last twenty years. I'm not really sure why, but somehow Sally Field became the quintessential mama. Steel Magnolias was just the beginning, but it was this 1994 best picture winner (really?) that clinched this persona for her. Loving and full of wisdom, Mama Gump was a good one...even if I admittedly don't care much for this film.

                                                                 NORMA BATES - 

The mother of all mom issues can be found right here in the 1960 film Psycho. After all, "a boy's best friend is his mother." There's not much I really wanna say here without being too spoilerific (that's a combination of using spoilers and being specific just so you know...), but if you've got mom issues...Psycho will make you feel a lot better about yourself. Maybe that's the reason why it's one of my favorite movies. Haha! I kid I kid!


Okay so this mom would kind of give you mom issues too....but only her teenage counterpart that has the undeniable urge to hit on you. Whenever the time period or alternate universe we drop in on the character, her motherly instincts are always there, and there's no denying she cares for her son....even if it's accidentally in the wrong way! ha!


When Edwina finds out she will never be a mother due to infertility and the fact that being married to an ex-con means she'll never be able to adopt, she and her husband take it upon themselves to find another way to become parents: by kidnapping a baby from a couple that has far too many to care for. This "mom" show love to her captive  baby by singing him some...interesting lullabies and insisting (unsuccessfully) that he not be around fugitive ex-cons OR that his diapers be stolen. That's love right there.


Holly Hunter makes a second appearance on this list, this time as an animated crime fighting superhero mom. There isn't much this mama wouldn't do to protect her very um gifted children. Then again, it doesn't hurt that she herself has some pretty handy powers to assist her. While being a tough fighter, her first and foremost duty is now her role as a wife and mother...and you can really see how important that is to her. "Mom to the rescue" takes on a new meaning after The Incredibles!

Honorable mentions: June Cleaver, Mom from A Christmas story
(what? She really doesn't have a name!) Kate McCallister (Home Alone), Donna (Mamma Mia)

Well that's all folks. But really, let's give a hand to moms! I know I am truly grateful for mine :) 


Sarah said...

Very entertaining list, and perfectly worded. Don't forget the quote of mine that Mom always likes to share when I asked her, "Why can't you be more like Donna Reed?"

Happy Mother's Day (belated), Mom!

Oh, and Emily, I kind of agree with you about Jerry Seinfeld's mom. One of my favorite lines is when she says to Jerry, "Who couldn't like you?" (or something to that effect). That is something Mom would say...and something any loving mother should think about her own kids. :)

Joey said...

I still really like the mom from 50/50. We should be friends.

The reason that I love the movie "Mother" is that the message is so universal. As kids, we often think that our parents problems have to do with us and sometimes their problems are really to do with them. It's a powerful truth that, once internalized, can be very freeing for both the relationship and one's self-esteem. I think Debbie Reynolds is amazing.

Guilt Trip was quite forgettable (oh, that Karrie). It was interesting to see the two movies side by side. The newer one was much quicker at setting up the story, the pace was plodding, but kept moving forward, not stopping for any of the "bits" that the older movie had. However, the "bits" in the older movie really did help define the characters and make them more amusing and relatable. I also thought that the newer movie's message kind of hit you over the head and was overly spelled out at the end.

Are we being dumbed down? Or was this just a poor movie? I think the latter. I've seen some of the greatest movies ever in the past few years, but their seems to be more of a swing between the great and the dumb.

Seth Rogan must have had a secret desire to work with Babs. She did a great job (not my favorite actress, but she knows her stuff), but the comedy was really missing, which was surprising considering him.

Joey said...

Tons of typos in that comment, but I'm too sick to fix it.