by Mandi Harrison
"I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cool mom." - Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Happy Mother's Day to all the cool moms out there! In honor of the day, here are 8 movie moms that give it all for their kids, no matter what.
Terms of Endearment
Shirley MacLaine won her Oscar for her performance of Aurora, a woman who has spent her life in a codependent relationship with her daughter after her husband passed away. When her daughter marries and moves away, Aurora learns to loosen her grip on control, even having an unlikely romance. Aurora must take control when her daughter is diagnosed with cancer, having to remain strong in order to care for her grandchildren.
Being a mom, you feel like you have to keep it together even if you are terrified, but both women show that it's okay to be scared; you just have to be there.
Bryn MacGuff is stepmom to Juno, a smart-ass teenager who just told her dad and Bryn that she is pregnant and she is going to give the baby up for adoption. Bryn always treats Juno like her own, never yelling at her, but is completely honest about how Juno will be forever changed. She takes her to appointments, defends her from judgmental people and holds her hand through the delivery.
Allison Janney just nails the way you can love someone even though they frustrate and exhaust you. Bryn shows that a huge part of motherly love is just being there- just showing up no matter what.
20th Century Women
20th Century Women is the movie that will stay with you long after it has finished. Simply put, it's beautiful, and a huge part of that is Annette Bening. Dorothea is a single mother in the late 70's to a teenage boy. She feels that she isn't connecting with him and she enlists the help from his best friend and people renting rooms from her to help raise him. They become a make-shift family, each learning from each other.
Mothers want their children to experience life; to learn and have the opportunities that they never did. Dorothea encourages her child to take risks and to learn other view points so he can develop his own.
The family relationship in Easy A is something that is rarely shown- a teenager that actually enjoys being with their family. Olive's parents are fun, wise and treat her with respect. They listen and offer solutions, never demands, and in turn, Olive wants to include them in her life. When she is going through something that she isn't ready to share with them, her parents, especially her mom Rosemary, allow her space, but let her know that they are there if ever she needs them.
When Olive finally needs advice, Rosemary doesn't pry or judge, just shares her own experiences and offers advice. Patricia Clarkson has the perfect combination of love, concern and understanding in each scene. Olive is able to figure her way out of a difficult situation because she has confidence that she has people that have her back.
The Fault In Our Stars
Hazel and Gus are the Tumblr generation's Jack and Rose or Romeo and Juliet. Basically anything tragic Leonardo DiCaprio was in. And they are totes adorbs, but for me, they story was between Hazel and her parents, especially her mom. Knowing your child is sick and probably going to die and there is nothing you can do has got to be the worst feeling in the world. On one hand, you want to protect them and on the other, you want them to experience as much as they can. Frannie allows Hazel the freedom to have these experiences, even though it is costing her precious time with her daughter. Her daughter's happiness is the only thing that she can give to her, and Laura Dern's anguish and joy over being able to provide that to Hazel, no matter what, is heartbreaking.
Leigh Anne Touhy
The Blind Side
Leigh Ann Touhy is proof that blood alone does NOT make you a mother. She wanted to give a cold, quiet mannered teen with no place to go a place to stay. She grew to love him and protect him as if she had given birth to him. Her persistence and love took him from sleeping at a laundromat to the NFL. Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for this force of nature performance, having the perfect mix of fire and ice needed for a mom that would do anything for her children's well-being. Moms are capable of loving more than they ever thought was possible.
Jackie & Isabel
The conflict between the two women in Stepmom has nothing to do with a man- it's because of the children that they both love. Both Jackie (mom) and Isabel (stepmom) are right and wrong in their own ways- they each do what they think is best. Jackie thinks she knows best because she is their mother and feels she is being replaced. Isabel thinks she knows what the kids like better since she is younger and feels like she is not taken seriously. Jackie has to start relying on Isabel when she becomes ill and the two women realize the kids have room for both of them and the kids will be better off because of it. Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts play well off each other, and even better with each other. Life will often put you in situations that weren't what you were planning for, but moms will always put their children's best interests first.
Here's to all the moms- whether by blood, marriage, choice or chance- your love and guidance is what gets us through. We love you!