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Parents' Guide to

Helicopter Mom

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Comedy about overly involved mom has a little edge.

Movie NR 2015 81 minutes
Helicopter Mom Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Vardalos is more cringe-inducing than amusing as a clueless mother who thinks she's helping her son by planning out their hypothetical future as a gay man and his proud mom. And the dialogue borders on ridiculous when she says that she thinks growing old with a fabulous gay man for a son will mean trips to Paris, a well-decorated room in the assisted living facility, and season tickets to the opera. For a movie with an ostensible message about tolerance and unconditional love, these jokes and comments are eye-rollingly stereotypical.

The performers do their best with the material. Vardalos attempts to humanize Maggie, and Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy) is entertaining as her rocker ex, who still loves Maggie and wants to be there for his son. Dolley and Samuels are decent young actors, but they don't have enough chemistry to turn their new friendship into the blossoming romance the movie demands. With parenting styles like "helicopter mom," "tiger mom," and "freerange mom" thrown around so often, it's inevitable to see one of the terms poked fun at, but this storyline doesn't really allow Maggie to grow and evolve into the kind of mother Lloyd needs until it's basically too late.

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