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"MOTHER"
(1996) (Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Mild None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Mild Mild None


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A recently divorced man moves back in with his mother hoping that by resolving their relationship, he'll be able to meet and have success with other women.
PLOT:
John Henderson (ALBERT BROOKS) is a neurotic, introspective man who's just come through his second divorce. Believing that he needs to resolve the relationship with his mother, Beatrice (DEBBIE REYNOLDS), before he can find success with other women, he moves back in with her. He recreates his childhood room, complete with artifacts from his childhood, and begins his grand experiment to find out why his mother won't give him her approval. She's a lovingly critical mother who explains her son's every behavior to anyone and everyone she knows and thinks their relationship is just fine. His brother, Jeff (ROB MORROW), a successful sports agent, is jealous, however, that John's now getting all of their mother's attention. Eventually John and his mother begin to resolve things and he finally discovers what's kept them from being true friends for all these years.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Not unless they're fans of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ALBERT BROOKS plays a recently divorced man who is neurotically obsessed with gaining his mother's approval.
  • DEBBIE REYNOLDS plays the overly critical, but loving mother.
  • ROB MORROW plays the brother who becomes jealous of his mother shifting her focus away from him and onto his brother.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    This is one of Albert Brook's better movies (he also directed), and if you're fond of his type of humor, you'll love this one. His self-obsessed neurotic act is taken to new heights in this film. Reynolds couldn't be a better as the comic foil who continues to be the catalyst for her son's neuroses well into his adult life. And Morrow disappears into his role as the still competitive brother. There are several very funny scenes in this movie and a fun spoof of the "Mrs. Robinson" theme song from "The Graduate" that bookends the film. One's enjoyment of this will depend heavily on how one views Brooks. If his trademark behavior is seen as annoying or irritating, then you better skip this movie. If, however, you like his characterizations, as does this reviewer, then you'll thoroughly enjoy this production. We give it a big 7 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    There's not a great deal to object to in this film that probably won't be seen by many kids. The worst of the profanity is 4 uses of the "s" word and an assortment of milder references. There is some sexually related talk, but most of it is jokingly said and short in duration. There's a little bit of social drinking, but beyond that there just isn't a lot of bad stuff present. We do suggest, however, that you read the category listings to check on whether this film will be appropriate for you and/or your family.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • John is heard calling someone on the phone saying that he's going to need a designated driver. Moments later he's seen drinking in a bar with a friend of his, and asks the bartender for another "double."
  • John and a date have wine with dinner.
  • John and Beatrice have martinis with dinner.
  • Jeff drinks a beer while arguing with his wife about his mother.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • John's constant, neurotic need to attain approval from others might be considered by some as disrespectful.
  • Beatrice is too critical of John and unknowingly makes him feel unappreciated by doing so.
  • John's wife, who's just divorced him, takes all of the furniture and leaves him with a nearly empty house.
  • While talking to Jeff about him getting their mother a video phone, John says that "no one over sixty can operate something like that."
  • John tells his mother, "For first time I don't see you as "mother." I see you as a failure. And that's wonderful."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Moron," "Go to hell," and "Screw you."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 4 "s" words, 5 craps, 5 hells, 1 damn, and 3 uses each of "God damn," "Oh my God," and "My God," 2 uses each of "Jesus" and "God," and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "Oh God," "Christ," and "What in God's name" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • John tells a friend of his that he wants to "pass down his seed" (have children). His friend tells him, "Masturbate in the garden."
  • John jokingly says that out of his past five big relationships, one of "them" might have been a man. They then talk about the movie "Madam Butterfly" and whether a man could be married to another man without knowing it. They then joke about that man asking a doctor about his "wife's" health and the doctor responding, "Oh she's in very good health. Especially her balls."
  • The roommate of a woman who's having dinner with John is surprised that he's dating so soon after his divorce. The woman then tells her roommate, "I'm just having dinner with him, not sex."
  • To get her back for embarrassing him in public, John takes his mother into Victoria's Secret and tells the clerk that he's there to buy his mother a pair of crotchless panties.
  • When John tells Beatrice that they should try something more adventurous, she jokingly says, "There's a nude beach nearby, but it's not very nice out."
  • To taunt Jeff, John says that he and his mother "are lovers" and then jokingly says, "I love my mother and I love having sex with her."
  • Beatrice tells John (about her relationship with a man named Charles), "We're not intimate. We just have sex occasionally."
  • Charles insists on showing Beatrice "movies" (that we assume are erotic or pornographic), but she's too embarrassed that John will be sleeping in the next room. He then reminds her that that was one of her fantasies (of having a forty-year-old in the next room presumably while having sex).
  • SMOKING
  • Beatrice smokes one cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • John and Beatrice argue, but more in the abstract than directly at each other.
  • The movie starts with John's divorce, but there aren't any kids involved.
  • Jeff and his wife get into an argument over his relationship with his mother during which he tells her, "...screw you."
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • John jokingly says that out of his past five big relationships, one of "them" might have been a man.
  • Mother/son relationships.
  • VIOLENCE
  • None.



  • Reviewed December 2, 1996

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