Every so often, a film comes along that just makes me want to poke my eyes out with a blunt pencil so I don’t have to endure any more. Motherhood is one such film.
It was showing on my favourite TV channel last night, Sky Indie, and I now intend to sue Sky under the Trade Descriptions Act due to this film’s utter tripeness. To show it alongside Jeff Bridge’s film, Crazy Heart, was blasphemy.
I did a straw poll on Twitter last night and asked if anyone else had actually seen this garbage film. I had zero responses. So either I need to change deodorant or everyone else had already read the reviews and wisely been warned off. I wish I had because that’s 90 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.
Motherhood is billed as a film about, well, motherhood. Its challenges, its day-to-day struggles and the juggling it takes to keep a family together. We get it! Motherhood is tough! But why make the previously Über cool Uma Thurman look like she’s having a mental breakdown? Is that the message the writer/Director, Katherine Dieckmann, really wanted to portray. (Oh, I’ll get back to her in a minute.)
A quick word here about Ms Thurman. Firstly, are times so hard Uma that you really have to stoop this low? You were Beatrix Kiddo for God’s sake! (I’m trying really hard here not to even go there with My Super Ex-Girlfriend.) Woman – call Tarantino – STAT.
I watched Motherhood with my very patient Other Half and I was surprised that he didn’t leave the room within the first five minutes. I wouldn’t have blamed him.
Initially, the concept of the film appealed. Set in Manhattan, it is the story of a mother of two preparing for her daughter’s sixth birthday party and attempts to be an insight into a modern mother’s everyday trials and tribulations. Classed as a comedy (for the record, neither of us laughed once,) I was hoping I would be able to connect with Uma’s character. That the writer had somehow understood how tough being a Mum can be. That women everywhere would watch the film and think, “Ah, she totally gets us.” Suffice to say, I didn’t connect, and Dieckmann totally didn’t ‘get us’ mothers.
Thurman’s husband (ER’s Anthony Edwards,) was a more believable character and his lame storyline of being a First Edition book collector aside (‘Spoiler Alert’ – of course, he finds a book worth $24,000 that enables his wife to concentrate on her writing,) he was ironically given the only credible parts of the script.
It’s not even worth me mentioning Minnie Driver as Thurman’s pregnant best friend. The highlight of her role? Talking about how she masturbated with her son’s motorised submarine in the bath. Way. In fact, I can’t believe I’ve wasted this many characters already.
Moving on … it’s interesting to note that Dieckmann was quoted as saying, “Men can write great women’s movies, but I don’t think a man could write this movie. I don’t think any man can understand what it’s like to face the day to day the way a woman can, what it means for a woman to be compromised by domesticity.” And maybe they can’t, but by portraying Thurman as a sweaty headed, bespectacled mess that runs off to New Jersey because the cake shop have mis-iced her daughter’s birthday cake, she completely ruined my somewhat sexist argument with my Other Half that “a man must have written this tosh.” Dieckmann, a mother herself, just totally missed the mark.
What hurts the most? Uma’s character is a writer, a blogger, a mother, and a wife … just like me … and I just wanted to relate so much that I take this film’s failure personally. Damn you Dieckmann!
Motherhood is trite, underwhelming and at best, cringeworthy. The box office gross was £88 on its opening weekend in the UK.