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The best movies to watch for Mother’s Day.

Updated: May 3, 2021

Photo: Open Road Films

I think it’s fair to say that as of now, there’s a movie for every single occasion and holiday on the calendar. Mother’s Day is no exception. It doesn’t matter if you’re spending this year with your mom, or if you’re just facetiming her due to long-distance restrictions; this movies will make you laugh, cry, and surely appreciate your mother a little bit more. Some movies here were nominated for an Oscar; others are simply a good-time. Masterpiece or not, let’s get ready to celebrate our mothers in the best way possible.

1. Mamma Mía!

Kicking off this list we have the musical Mamma Mía! I don’t know about you, but my mom was a really big ABBA fan, making me, from a young age, a big ABBA fan too. So, of course, this movie has very special meaning to me. Even though the premise is about a young woman trying to locate her three fathers, at its core, this is a mother-daughter story. Donna has to let her daughter Sophie dig up her past to hilarious and heart-warming results. The cherry on top is the musical number “Slipping through my fingers,” which has Meryl Streep personafying what many mothers experience when their child leaves home. So yes, you might tear up for a few minutes, but the greatness of ABBA is how good they make you feel in the process.

Photo: Universal Pictures

2. Freaky Friday

Put Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan together and what do you get? One of the most iconic teen comedies of the early 2000’s. This is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again and never get tired off. The idea is pretty sraightforward: mom’s annoyed with her rebel teenager, daughter hates her mom. So, in a turn of events, a curse is set upon them where they’re forced to live inside the other person’s body. Right in the middle you have Chad Micheal Murray who falls in love with Jamie Lee Curtis who is really Lindsay on the inside and Lindsay who is really her mother trying to dabble with mean teachers, bullies, and her rock band. If you want to see a chaotic mother-daughter relationship with a very sweet ending, this is the film for you.

Photo: Buena Vista Pictures

3. Bad Moms

This film is for the moms, and the moms only! I’m just kidding, this really is fun for the entire family, but it will definitely resonate with all of the mothers who just want a day off. This comedy sees Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hann as over-worked and under-appreciated mothers that decide to let loose for once in their lives. The result of this freedom makes for crazy scenerios, fun banter, drunken nights, and problems with the PTA perfect moms. Furthermore, there’s a sequel that adds to this already good cast Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski, and Cheryl Hines. So, why not make a marathon out of this year's mother’s day?

Photo: STX Entertainment

4. Lion

Lion was nominated for 6 Academy Awards in in 2016, and it’s not hard to figure out why. This story, as painful as it is at times, it’s also beautiful and hopeful. A five-year-old indian boy played delightfully by young actor Sunny Pawr gets adopted by an Australian couple. The mom is played by Nicole Kidman and as her son grows (into a very handsome Dev Patel), we see the struggles, life-lessons, and the real love that comes from adoption. As Saroo sets out to look for his biological family without telling her adoptive parents, the journey completely changes his life as he learns to accept his two worlds.

Photo: Transmission Films

5. Stepmom

I remember growing up in the late nineties, this movie was always on TV, and for good reason. Susan Sarandon has to share her kids with her ex’s new lover which just so happens to be Julia Roberts. The gut-wrenching twist to this story is that Sarandon’s character is terminally ill, which means she has to find a way to accept her condition and her kids future with this new woman. It’s tragic, it’s sometimes funny, and it represents the adjustments and growth people actually do when blending families. If you know what this feels like or you want to see a character-driven story, this film is for you.

Photo: Sony Pictures

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6. Baby Boom

Baby Boom has two of my favorite things: Diane Keaton in the eighties and Nancy Meyers’ feel-good empowering comedy. This movie follows J.C Wiatt, a successful business woman that gets and unlilkley inheritance, a baby. After her boyfriend breaks up with her and her intentions of giving the baby out for adoption fail, she moves to a cottage in Vermont to begin a new life. As picture-perfect as this sounds, the house in Vermont needs A TON of work, J.C comically finds out that taking care of a babygil is no easy task, and in true Nancy Meyers’ style, there’s a final message that warms your heart and makes you remember about the important things in life.

Photo: MGM

7. What To Expect When You're Expecting

This movie is for all those new mom or moms-to-be out there. Based on the same book by the same name, the film boasts a big cast with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Díaz, Matthew Morrison, Dennis Quaid, Brooklyn Decker, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Ben Falcone, Joe Mangianello, and many more. The story follows five couples and their journey through pregnancy, adoption, and internal doubts. Of course, it doesn’t matter how well this people plan out everything, the unexpected is always bound to happen. This movie will make you forget about life for a little while, and it might even spark a conversation with your own mother about what her experience of being a new mom was like.

Photo: Lionsgate

8. Brave

In all seriousness, almost every Disney film deals with the subject matter of parenthood or motherhood. Wether you decide to watch The Incredibles, the short film Bao ( which is hilarious and cute) or Bambi (whish is outright depressing), Disney never fails to bring fun content for the entire family. Today I’m recommending watching Brave, a story about an unrelenting Princess that defies tradition. In the process though, her strict mother gets turned into a bear and now mother and daughter have to work together to beat the curse. The soundtrack of the movie is gorgeous, the dialogue is witty, and as predictable as it may be, it will still make you want to go hug your mom.

Photo: Disney

9. Bird Box

I know this is a weird choice but if you’re one for dystopian, action-packed, anxiety-driven movies, this is the perfect film for you. Sandra Bullock plays Malorie, a mom that has to gather all the courage she has in the world to protect her kids from an unseen force that makes humans want to commit suicide. Add to that the fact that they have wear blindfolds to protect themselves from this deadly forces and you have a story that’s stressful yet engaging from beginning to end. As the movie progresses, the stakes keep getting higher and Malorie’s mother instincts work at full capacity. If you want a more mellow Sandra Bullock option, I suggest watching The Blind Side, you can never go wrong with that film.

Photo: Netflix

10. Mother's Day

I could not possibly end this list without the ultimate Mother’s Day movie. This story follows the lives of mothers, grandmothers, and even long-lost daughters. With Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Shay Mitchell, to name a few, gracing the screen, this film is simply a celebration of motherhood in its many forms. The film has director’s Garry Marshall’s tone and wholesome energy, and as off-putting as Julia Robert’s wig is in this, I believe almost everyone will be able to relate to the experiences lived by these mothers and daughters.

Photo: Open Road Films

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