By Todd McFliker
A loving mother is vital to a child’s health and happiness. Hollywood sometimes displays the beautiful connection that a mom and a child share. While some films are simply screwball comedies that demonstrate how frightening some mothers can be, other flicks show off moms’ wonderful capabilities. This week, we look at some of the most special relationships celebrated in comedic motherhood DVDs.
The multitalented Diane Keaton is the “Tiger Lady,” a high-powered management consultant in Baby Boom. In the adorable PG selection from 1987, she’s a workaholic in New York City who inherits a baby girl from an overseas cousin she hasn’t seen in decades. Immediately she becomes a mother. It’s a hoot watching the business tycoon carrying the child like a football, and popping Valium just to take the kid’s temperature. Mrs. Corleone can run a Fortune 500 company, but can’t change a diaper. Keaton’s stressful life is left behind when the two relocate to Vermont. The Big Apple’s rat race has to survive with one less rodent. Away from the city, Keaton concentrates on being a mother. Any woman in her position could benefit from a PAIRS class to learn behaviors that nurture and sustain her role as a parent. Along with their spouses, moms learn helpful ways to interact with kids through a comprehensive approach to enhance communication, emotional understanding, and improving self-worth.
The same year, Danny DeVito directed and stars in the PG-13 dark comedy Throw Mamma from the Train. His childish character is ready to kill his abusive mother. Meanwhile, DeVito’s writing professor, Billy Crystal, wouldn’t mind getting rid of his ex-wife for stealing his best-selling novel. A Hitchcock-like scheme, with the two characters swapping murders, is worked out. But will their alibi stick? The Goonies’ Anne Ramsey is superb as DeVito’s verbally abusive mother. She could certainly benefit from Emptying her Emotional Jug, expressing all of her feeling without interruption. Too bad there isn’t a PAIRS program around to help her Empty her Emotional Jug in a healthy manner, rather than step all over the other characters’ feeling. As Crystal explains, “She’s not a woman. She’s the Terminator.”
In 1992’s PG-13 comedy, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Sylvester Stallone is a detective that gets bossed around by his intrusive mother, the late Estelle Getty. Visiting L.A. from Newark, the Golden Girl instantly gets on her boy’s nerves by cleaning his gun with Clorox, befriending criminals with Lentil soup, and interfering with his dating life. But after witnessing a drive-by murder, the delightful Getty threatens bad guys with spankings, and eventually saves the day. The officer’s mom certainly could’ve benefited from PAIRS relationship education, assisting her in being a more tactful speaker. The character would’ve gotten further if she was a more respectful and careful listener, not interrupting her son and questioning what she didn’t quite understand.
Jumping ahead to 2008, the PG-13 Baby Mama is simply hysterical. Tina Fey is a successful executive who chose her career over a family. While other women got pregnant, she got promotions. Now she’s 37, single, and her biological clock is ticking. Only she’s infertile. As a result, Amy Poehler is hired as a surrogate for $100,000. The hilarious relationship between the two ladies is priceless. The two should’ve enrolled in a PAIRS relationship education course to resolve their conflicts by learning anger management skills. Baby Mama has brilliant appearances by Sigourney Weaver, a self-absorbed Steve Martin, and Weeds’ Romany Malco explaining “You pay the bills, she has the baby. That’s called a Baby Mama.”
As seen in Hollywood classics based on motherhood, there are some fantastic moments that will stand any test of time. So, enjoy your capacity to have fun. Watch an exceptional film about motherhood. After all, a sweet movie can create wonders, not unlike a devoted mother.
A current newlywed, Todd McFliker is an award-winning reporter and the author of All You Need is Love to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. He earned his Masters in Communication from Lynn University.