Trading Mom

Movie review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
Trading Mom Movie Poster Image
Silly '90s fantasy is a little dated but still fun.
  • PG
  • 1994
  • 82 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

A mom who loves you and provides structure is best. Some dated, stereotypical gender messages like "men don't cry."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Martin kids realize what really makes a good mom and that they didn't treat their mom very nicely in the past.

Violence & Scariness

Slapstick accidents, some bullying, and a punch in the groin.

Sexy Stuff

Some name-calling and back talk.


Grey Poupon commercial.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Elizabeth gets caught with a cigarette; Mama carries around a cigarette holder.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Trading Mom, a film adaptation of the children's novel The Mummy Market by Nancy Burns Brelis, stars Sissy Spacek in multiple roles. While the movie is generally pretty clean and geared toward a younger audience, there's some bullying and slapstick violence, including a kick to the groin and some shoving. Parents may object to some dated gender stereotypes as Harry, the youngest sibling, is repeatedly told to "act like a man" and that "boys don't cry" when he acts sensitive. Elizabeth is also caught with a cigarette at school and one of the replacement moms carries around a cigarette in a holder.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 11 years old January 7, 2019

Good, Cute movie!

Really cute.. I have watched movies that the daughter is in... I think she is a very good actress. Good message because it shows that no other person will be go... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMollyLappe November 6, 2015

I love this movie!

I love this movie! i watched it for the first time last night on amazon prime! The only part i didn't like was when they already got rid of their mom and t... Continue reading

What's the story?

The Martin kids are sick of their divorced mom (Sissy Spacek) nagging them to clean up and behave. With a little help from the flower magic of neighbor Mrs. Cavour (Maureen Stapleton), the kids make their mom disappear and head to The Mommy Market to pick out a new mother. Oldest sister Elizabeth (Anna Chlumsky of My Girl fame) picks the exotic Mama, Jeremy (Aaron Michael Metchik) picks the outdoorsy Mom, and Harry (Asher Metchik) picks the circus performer Natasha. Unfortunately, these new moms just aren't quite right and the kids soon start to realize their mom might not have been so bad after all, especially when the school principal keeps making unexpected visits.

Is it any good?

TRADING MOM is a fun, cheesy flick that has a lot of heart but a few flaws. Some parents might not be fans of some of the dated messages and the back talk given by the Martin kids (Jeremy's bitter "no wonder Dad left her" is especially unpleasant). And Sissy Spacek's portrayal of all of the moms is pretty over-the-top. But overall, it's a surprisingly cute movie that will probably be a hit with the younger crowd.

Kids will love the fantasizing about their dream mom and will probably love how silly all of the new mothers are. Parents will appreciate the ending message that it's really better to have a mom who loves and understands you but isn't always fun. And parents who grew up in the '90s will probably love the throwback fashion and some fun cameos like Andre the Giant.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different moms in the movie. Why were the new mothers not quite right?

  • What qualities make a good mother? If you could pick a fantasy mother, what would she be like?

  • Who was your favorite mother in the movie? Why was she your favorite?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family stories

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