Motherhood isn’t all rainbows and sunshine; sometimes, it’s messy and complicated. These 10 movies take an honest look at being a mom.
With Mother’s Day approaching, it is the perfect time of year to revisit the best movies that celebrate all the aspects of being a mom, even the not-so-happy ones. Films like Bad Moms let moms know it is okay to cut loose once in a while, but other movies like Tully take a more brutal, more honest look at motherhood’s exhausting and sometimes unrewarding moments.
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There are tons of movies that discuss how unique and rewarding motherhood can be, but these movies explore the feelings moms are afraid to talk about for fear of being judged by others.
10 Bad Moms (2016)
Bad Moms follows three very different moms as they form an unlikely friendship in their mission to get their lives back and be seen as more than just someone’s mother. The movie discusses how moms are meant to have it all together and never be selfish or do anything for enjoyment that doesn’t involve their kids. Mila Kunis plays the mom who runs against Christina Applegate’s character for PTA president in an attempt to lessen the unrealistic expectations placed on the moms by the school. The movie is wild and hilarious but reminds moms that they are so much more than caregivers.
9 Mama Mia! (2008)
As one of the best movie musicals of the 2000s, Mama Mia! shows that single motherhood is challenging but can be extremely rewarding even when things get more than complicated. Donna has to face the secrets of her past when Sophie discovers she has three men who could be her father. In the end, Sophie realizes just how good of a mom she has, and it is more important that they remain close than finding out who her birth father is. The movie perfectly encapsulated the incredible bond single mothers and their daughters can have, when Donna walks Sophie down the aisle rather than her father.
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8 Juno (2007)
Juno was not only a film about motherhood but a coming-of-age comedy that was relatable to those experiencing teen pregnancy in the early 2000s. Even though the movie is filled with dry humor, it also takes on serious issues like the struggles of deciding to give up a child for adoption and being pregnant while still figuring out who you are in high school. Elliot Page is not only hilarious in the film but gives a quote that perfectly sums up how some teen moms feel, “I’m dealing with things way above my maturity level.”
7 What To Expect When You’re Expecting (2012)
Elizabeth Banks quickly learns that being pregnant is not about having a natural glow and baby showers. What to Expect When Expecting shows how un-glamorous pregnancy can be, especially for first-time moms. The movie also features Jennifer Lopez in one of her best roles as a woman who wants nothing more than to be a mom and is trying to adopt with her husband. The four different moms featured show a side to every facet of motherhood that makes it hilariously reliable to anyone on the road to being a mom.
6 Motherhood (2009)
Before it was cool, Uma Thurman was a mom with a blog detailing the highs and lows of being a parent in Motherhood. Thurman is a stay-at-home mom who tries to keep it all together and ensure her kids have everything they could ever ask for, especially when it comes to birthdays.
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The film puts a comedic spin on the lives of moms trying to raise their kids in the city. Unlike other movies on this list, Thurman’s character has a supportive partner who believes in her and tries his best to contribute to the house while being a working parent.
5 Private Life (2018)
For some becoming a mother comes easily, but Private Life takes a harsh look at how hard it can be for others. In the film, Richard and Rachel have spent years trying to become parents and have nearly exhausted all of their options. The movie is an emotional rollercoaster that has viewers laughing and crying as they feel the couple’s hope dwindle with each failed attempt to conceive. Kathyrn Hahn’s character shows that you don’t have to have a child of your own to be a safe and nurturing person for someone.
4 Stepmom (1998)
Julia Roberts plays Isabelle, the stepmom to Susan Sarandon’s children in Stepmom. Unlike other movies, Isabelle isn’t evil. She wants the kids to like her and have a good relationship with them. Jackie (Sarandon) does everything in her power to make sure that doesn’t happen. The movie explores the dynamics of a new parental figure being brought into a family and how difficult it can be to be the new person. Even though the film was made in 1998, the issues discussed are still relevant today.
3 Tully (2018)
Tully is a movie for moms that need a day off or a helping hand. As a mother of three, Charlize Theron’s character decides she needs a nanny to help take care of her baby at night since her husband doesn’t get up to help. The film takes a hard look at how exhausting motherhood can be but also shows parents it’s okay to ask for help when you are overwhelmed.
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Theron regains her life with the help of Tully and learns that taking care of herself is essential and will help her take care of her kids.
2 Lady Bird (2017)
Lady Bird introduced the world to one of the best antiheroes of the 2010s and exposed the hard truths of the mother and teenage daughter relationship. Lady Bird hits close to home for anyone who had a rebellious phase during their adolescent years. The movie discusses how alike mothers and daughters can be even though they feel worlds apart. The arguments are ones anyone can relate to if they chose a path their parents disagreed with, but also shows touching moments that help the pair find some understanding.
1 The Kids Are Alright (2010)
When two kids reach out to their biological father, their mothers have to grapple with the idea of their kids having a relationship with a man they never intended for them to meet. The Kids Are Alright tackles the issues that non-traditional families can face. The moms handle the situation differently, and it takes a toll on their marriage and their relationship with their kids. The film may not connect with everyone, but for those who don’t know their bio-parents or come from a same-sex couple, the movie shines a light on the best and worst moments their families can experience.
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