If you want to take Mom to a movie for Mother’s Day, we have two opening this weekend that are about parenting: Snatched and Graduation. The film you choose all depends on just how raunchy your particular Mom is.
This is especially true for Snatched, which stars Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn as a mother and daughter who travel to Ecuador. Years of familial tension erupt as their trip spirals out of control and the women must depend on each other to survive.
Look, we all know what we’re getting into with this one, don’t we? No one watches an Amy Schumer vehicle that’s written by Katie Dippold (Spy, The Heat) and directed by Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, 50/50) expecting high-brow social commentary, right? If you check those expectations at the door, you’ll be in for an over-the-top, laugh-out-loud adventure. Schumer and Hawn are believable as mother and daughter, even though Hawn is wooden through most of the movie (surprising for this seasoned Oscar winner). They generate some unexpected emotion while hashing out their frustrations, which made my movie-date and I (both mothers) a little weepy. We downed some wine while watching though, which might have more to do with our tears than the movie itself. Snatched levels that sensitive side by unleashing more than it’s fair share of vagina jokes, getting mixed responses from the audience (I heard as many grossed-out groans as I did laughs). I happen to like vagina jokes and had a blast while watching Snatched, so I’m giving it a C+. The wine helped immensely, though.
Also out this weekend (in select cities) is Graduation, from acclaimed Romanian director Cristian Mungiu. It’s about Romeo, a doctor who is anxiously awaiting his daughter’s high school final exams. She needs a high score to secure a swanky scholarship, but a horrible incident right before her test makes that seem impossible. Her father decides to risk everything to help her with the exam, potentially jeopardizing his own career and reputation in the process.
Mungiu eschews the bells and whistles of traditional film making, which gives Graduation the air of a documentary. It also addresses some unsavory realities of parenting, like the awful moment your kid realizes how flawed you are or when they tell you their future plans are different from the ones you have for them.
Graduation hit home for me because I watched it during a pivotal time in my own Motherhood, when my kids need far less from me. Parents must let children take the reins of their lives, often forcing moms and dads to redefine their own identities. Graduation depicts the difficulty of that transition and how, even though we’d break any rule out there for the sake of our kids, that’s often the last thing they’d want us to do. –A