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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
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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.
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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.