Movies I Regret Recommending to My Mother

I owe my mom big time, for all the important stuff. My two favorite things that my mom has given me are 1) a rich education and appreciation of classic film and 2) life, probably in that order.

Weird things happen when parents start to get old, though. As I’ve grown up and single-mindedly pursued my interest in movies, my love for the medium has expanded to a multitude of genres and subject matter, while my mom’s interest in cinema has taken a dark turn (I’d say regression but she might read this eventually) into Kirk Cameronville, or, what I have recently learned that some refer to as “Christianploitation film.” I try to ignore this concerning development and continue to insist that my mother sample whatever movie I happen to be crazy about/fascinated by. Results have been mixed.

Movie: Greenberg

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Why I suggested it: I’ve watched this movie a number of times. The humor is cutting, but it’s a great character study that looks at deep-seated vulnerabilities in their many forms. “Hurt people hurt people.”

Mom’s Take: The weird room-mate from Notting Hill (Rhys Ifans) is so nice, but I was hoping that Ben Stiller would drown in the pool.

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Movie: Frances Ha

Why I suggested it: I really relate to the main character, her romantic friendships, her self-sabotage, her at times hopeful attitude, and her frustration with being a mediocre artist.

Mom’s Take: The main character was terrible. I was hoping she would get hit by a taxi.

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Movie: Eyes Wide Shut

Why I suggested it: To be fair, I didn’t actually suggest this one, I just mentioned it in passing.

Mom’s Take: Ok so it’s a little boring, but if you think about it a certain way it has kind of a Biblical message.

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Movie: Wonder Woman

Why I suggested it: It’s awesome plus feminism!

Mom’s Take: I liked the little girl on the island at the beginning?

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Movie: Colossal

Why I suggested it: It’s wildly original and surprising and at the heart of it is a solid story about how abusive relationships form and can/should be severed.

Mom’s Take: If Anne Hathaway was in such rough shape I doubt she’d be able to afford international travel. 

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Movie: Inside Llewyn Davis

Why I suggested it: I could watch this movie 100+ times (maybe I already have), it’s puzzling and beautifully made and it managed to break my heart and make me laugh simultaneously. The music is spectacular and Oscar Isaac is beautiful and the cat is the most precious creature committed to film.

Mom’s Take: Why do you like this, and should I be worried?

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