Looking back on my first Mother’s Day as a mother it’s hard to remember much. Our new baby was just 5 weeks old and we weren’t getting a lot of sleep. I vaguely remember taking a lovely spring walk and I know that I got ready for said walk by taking a shower and putting on real clothes. Truthfully, I probably only remember this because we took photos and a video. #WeWereReallyTired
In the years since life has gotten easier. Yes, we added another kid to the mix but she was born in July so that by the time we celebrated a Mother’s Day with two kids we were all getting at least some sleep. Like the many moms we polled here in the Rocket City, my absolute favorite “gift” for the big day is just to be alone for a significant amount of time. I adore the handcrafted and thoughtful gifts I get from my husband and kids and I am always psyched about breakfast in bed, but the best part each year is the precious time I get to spend doing absolutely nothing.
Before my life as a mom I watched a lot of movies. Old movies, new movies, comedies, dramas, I love them all. Pretty much the only genre I don’t care for is horror so you won’t find any of those on this list although I’ve heard interesting things about a 2019 movie called Ma starring Alabama native Octavia Spencer. I haven’t seen this movie and I won’t (as much as I love Spencer) but if you’ve seen it and liked it, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.
Below are movies I’ve watched over the years that hold a special place in my heart that only grows stronger as I get older and experience life as a mom. There are movies on here that will definitely make you cry, movies that will make you laugh out loud, a few that will do both. There are also movies on here that will make you really miss your own mother, and some that will make you feel a lot better about your relationship with your mom (no matter what that is at the moment).
Mother’s Day Movies to Binge
Mother, Rated PG – Trailer
This Albert Brooks’ film starring himself and Debbie Reynolds so genuinely reflects the intricacies of the relationship that mothers have with their grown children that you sometimes flinch while watching. That said, it’s super funny. The premise is simple, Brooks has just gone through his second divorce and is looking to figure out why he has so many issues with women. He decides to do an experiment and moves back in with his mother. Conflict ensues but they do seem to come to a deeper understanding of each other by the end.
The Meddler, PG13 – Trailer
This 2015 movie starring Rose Byrne and Susan Sarandon is based on the screenwriter’s real life experience and it shows. Much like Mother, sometimes this movie hits a nerve when it comes to the child/parent relationship but we all know that’s how life works. We don’t always *like* our parents but we always love them. Sarandon stars as a new widow living in New York City who decides to move to Los Angeles to be with her daughter and start a new chapter of her life. The problem is she’s doing it by meddling in everyone else’s life, especially her daughter’s.
Postcards from the Edge, R – Trailer
Gosh I loved this book and I miss Carrie Fisher (and Debbie Reynolds). Directed by Mike Nichols, this film is a true classic in the genre of funny mother/daughter love/hate films. Shirley MacLaine stars as the Hollywood star mother and Meryl Streep is the recovering drug addict actress daughter who must move back in with her mother as a stipulation of the insurance company backing her new film. There seems to be a pattern developing here…
Lady Bird, R – Trailer
I LOVED this movie when I first saw it a couple years ago and now it’s streaming on Amazon Prime so it’s definitely going on my list this year. Saoirse Ronan is fantastic in this coming of age film that follows a 17-year-old girl living her final year at home. Lady Bird (a self-imposed moniker) is making arguably the biggest decision of her life up to this point – what she’s going to do about college. As good as Ronan is, Laurie Metcalf’s performance as her mother steals the show. She was robbed at the Oscars and deserves all the awards. Do yourself a favor and watch this if you haven’t seen it and watch it again if you have.
Steel Magnolias, PG – Trailer
If you are a woman living in the South and you haven’t yet seen Steel Magnolias, are you allowed to call yourself a Southern Mom? The answer is no. So git on over to the tube and watch this ASAP. It’s probably on TV this weekend and it’s definitely streaming. It’s filled with remarkable actresses giving even more remarkable performances and just like the tag on the trailer says, “it’s the funniest movie that will ever make you cry.”
The Joy Luck Club, R – Trailer
This drama focuses on four mothers who all experienced hardship in China and their relationships with their American born and raised daughters. It’s very moving and sometimes incredibly sad but the storytelling and the visuals are phenomenal.
Grey Gardens, PG – Trailer
This 1975 documentary follows around Big and Little Edie Beale, mother and daughter and reclusive cousins of Jackie O., as they live in their crumbling East Hampton mansion. It’s fascinating to watch, if a little unnerving and invasive, and became a cult classic over the years. It was even remade as a film (starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore). I’ll admit now that beyond how interesting it is on its own, the biggest reason to watch it might be just to understand the hilarious Documentary Now! sendup Sandy Passage starring Bill Hader and Fred Armisen. I mean, the sweatpants on his head make me laugh every time I think about it.
Freaky Friday (1977), G – Trailer
If you are determined to spend time with the family then I highly recommend this movie and I like this version starring a young Jodie Foster as the daughter and Barbara Harris as her mom. Yes, there is a remake starring Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis and it’s pretty good too but I like this one better. Bonus – it’s streaming on Disney+ right now.
Do you have a recommendation I’ve missed? Share your favorite Mother’s Day movies in the comments.
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Jennifer is the creator and co-editor of Rocket City Mom. She is also a compulsive writer, avid reader, occasional singer and former communications wizard turned toddler wrangler. You can often spot her and her little ones cruising the kiddie hot-spots in their "Rocket Van".