A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mothers and Daughters follows several vaguely connected storylines about (no surprise) mother-daughter relationships that have varying levels of conflict and harmony. The all-star (if hardly diverse) cast includes Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, Selma Blair, Christina Ricci, Courteney Cox, and Mira Sorvino. While some scenes do show characters smoking pot (medicinally) and getting drunk, there's not too much swearing ("hell," "goddammit") or sex (kissing). But there is a scene in which a very drunk girl is almost taken advantage of by a predatory man, as well as a storyline that centers around an unplanned pregnancy and a woman who considers getting an abortion. Ultimately, the message is that the bond between mothers and daughters is strong and profound and can withstand even intense conflict.
What's the story?
Rigby (Selma Blair) is a single career woman whose plans are disrupted by an unexpected event. Georgina (Mira Sorvino) is about to meet the daughter she put up for adoption decades ago. Rebecca (Christina Ricci) has just been thrown for a loop after unearthing a shocking family secret. All of these women are struggling to learn what it means to be MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS. This anthology film follows several vaguely interconnected storylines and features an all-star cast -- including Blair, Sorvino, Ricci, Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, and Courteney Cox and Mira Sorvino.
Is it any good?
This drama aims to link disparate plots with a common theme (in this case, motherhood), but it doesn't give any of the stories enough breathing room. With so many stories to tell, it's tough to truly develop the characters, so what we're left with is stereotypes: the angry daughter, the career woman who's too busy to be a parent, the mom who regrets a long-ago decision. We also get speeches focusing on the endless love that pours from the fountain of motherhood, on the life-changing transformation of becoming a parent, and other tender topics.
It doesn't help that the stories are all pretty soapy -- plus, they're all either completely unlikely or oh-so-common. Few of these dilemmas feel like something real people would experience. And since the entire cast is wealthy and white, it's even less likely to ring true for many viewers. Even a stellar cast can't save this overwrought film.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mother-daughter relationships. Are the characters in Mothers and Daughters relatable? Do their bonds ring true?
How does the movie portray drinking and drug use? Are they glamorized?
Do you like movies that deal with multiple connected storylines? How well does this film pull it off? How does it compare to other movies that use a similar framework?
- In theaters: May 6, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: July 5, 2016
- Cast: Courteney Cox, Susan Sarandon, Christina Ricci
- Director: Paul Duddridge
- Studio: Screen Media
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some mature thematic elements and brief drug use
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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