Mother

  • 1996
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy

Baffled and depressed by the failure of his marriage, middle-aged science-fiction writer John Henderson (Albert Brooks) decides that the key to his problems with women lies in his relationship with his mother (Debbie Reynolds). So he moves back in with her, unpacking his old stuff and re-creating the room in which he lived as a kid, right down to the goofy...read more

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Baffled and depressed by the failure of his marriage, middle-aged science-fiction writer John Henderson (Albert Brooks) decides that the key to his problems with women lies in his relationship with his mother (Debbie Reynolds). So he moves back in with her, unpacking his

old stuff and re-creating the room in which he lived as a kid, right down to the goofy movie posters and dusty school trophies. Everyone thinks he's nuts, which of course he is, though the more modern term is "deeply neurotic." First, the good news. Reynolds is brilliant: Her Beatrice Henderson is

a soft-spoken, emotionally subversive fist in a velvet glove, without being a caricature, an Oedipal gargoyle. And the film is often funny -- occasionally very funny. The bad news is that it's also a bit queasy-making -- filmmaking as therapy really is a dubious concept -- and its seething

contempt for women is distasteful. Beatrice is by far the best of a vile lot: The rest, from John's sensible sister-in-law (Isabel Glasser) to his vindictive ex-wife (Laura Weekes), are dumb, nasty, emasculating harpies. Brooks seems to be taking a page from Philip Wylie's Generation of

Vipers -- specifically Wylie's rabid (and, one suspects, revealing) denunciation of momism, the root of American cultural ills -- but Wylie was a pure product of the pre-pop-Freudian era. You expect something slightly more self-aware from Brooks, but it really is all his mother's

fault.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Baffled and depressed by the failure of his marriage, middle-aged science-fiction writer John Henderson (Albert Brooks) decides that the key to his problems with women lies in his relationship with his mother (Debbie Reynolds). So he moves back in with her… (more)

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