So I’m down to the final stretch. 39 and 1/2 weeks pregnant. I’m big. I’m uncomfortable, I can’t sleep. And my hormones are starting to get the better of me. I had a minor break down earlier this week at my doctor’s office. I found out, for the first time, that neither my doctor, nor the other doctors in her practice who I have taken the time to meet, will be available this coming weekend for the Labor Day holiday, and should I go into labor, I would be calling the on-call doctor. Don’t you think this information would have been helpful to me at an earlier date, considering THIS WEEKEND IS MY DUE DATE, and I could have found time to meet this other mystery doctor who will be the one on call ON MY DUE DATE!? It was such a cliche! I felt like I was in a scene right out of movie – where the heroine is told her doctor, whom she has a very specific birth plan laid out with, is not available and she is stuck with Ken Jeong from the Hangover delivering her baby! OK – that’s a scene right out of Knocked Up, but it’s how I felt earlier this week. It’s just frustrating when you try to stay on top of things, but I guess some things you just can’t control. Good lesson I suppose as I prepare to become a mother. So let’s rehash some other cinematic moments where mom the heroine is thrown for a loop.
Imagine this: You have been diagnosed with terminal cancer and all you want to do is spend time with your kids and give them lessons that will help make them better people when you move on. Insert here your ex-husband’s much younger new girlfriend who clearly needs your help in order to get in good with the kids. You could choose to relish in the triumph of being the mom that can’t be replaced or you can take the Susan Sarandon road and help young Julia Roberts learn how to be a better stepmom to her kids. She’s a classy lady that Sarandon, and that’s the plot of the Chris Columbus flick, Stepmom.
This one is so hard to believe that the fact it is a true story is really mind boggling. A young mother who is dealing with the terrifying reality of her son’s disappearance is reunited with a young boy 5 months after the boy goes missing. But the problem is, the boy the police bring to mom’s doorstep is definitely not her son and there is nothing this heroine (Angelina Jolie) can do to convince them otherwise! Talk about a sucky situation. She is forced to take on the US government to try and find out what really happened.
Having a spouse cheat on you is unfortunately nothing new. But when you are Annette Bening and your spouse, Julianne Moore is cheating on you with Mark Ruffalo, the sperm donor that enabled you and your wife to have your two children, the situation becomes complicated. That is the story behind The Kids Are All Right and I think the way Bening handles this unconventional situation is very realistic. Moore is forced to deal with her betrayal and spend some nights on the couch but ultimately, it’s a great tale of how family life is messy and complicated, but utterly rewarding.
Every mother’s worst nightmare is that there is going to be something fundamentally wrong with her child. While we don’t see the scene in Forrest Gump where Sally Field is informed for the first time that her son has a limited mental capacity, we can imagine her response – “oh phooey, there is nothing wrong with my Forrest.” And that is the attitude she takes during the whole film – that Forrest (Tom Hanks) was no different than anyone else and would get the same opportunities as everyone else. She goes to certain extremes to ensure he gets these opportunities, but she never lets her son’s handicap get in her way. Gotta love that mother’s determination.
So those are my picks for mothers who, when faced with challenging situations, find a way to overcome and triumph. Who is your favorite movie mom from this list?
Susan Sarandon – Stepmom
Angelina Jolie – Changeling
Annette Bening – The Kids Are Alright
Sally Field – Forrest Gump