It can be a jungle out there for moms. As much as we all want to band together and support each other, the mean girl side still comes out for some of us from time to time and it can be hard to find your mom tribe and keep it. Whether you have just one or two mom friends or a whole pool to choose from for play dates and wine spritzers, the best mom to mom moments in movies will get you emotional.
I don't know if it’s just me, but almost any Steel Magnolias scene with Sally Field and Julia Roberts gets to me. They play a southern mother and daughter who are habitually at odds with each other but incredibly close, and the movie is a tearjerker. On the flip side, Bad Moms teaches real life moms that it’s totally OK to fudge on the responsibilities from time to time and you can't be mad at that.
You don't have to watch a bunch of emotional mom-themed movies to appropriately celebrate Mother’s Day, but there’s nothing like the national day of moms to get you in the mood to ugly cry to Juno and laugh all over again at Knocked Up.
In Bad Moms, Mila Kunis’ character Amy stands up in a PTA meeting and makes a big speech to the other moms about the struggles of motherhood. She says that after being on mom duty all day long and working, she doesn't want to feel like she’s less of a mom for not participating wholeheartedly in a bake sale of all things. She says that all moms are bad moms, in a way, from various perspectives, and that they are all trying to figure it out. As a working mom myself, the balancing struggle is all too real.
If you can get past blubbering like an idiot when M’Lynn, played by Sally Field, delivers a speech at her on-screen adult daughter’s funeral, then you can definitely appreciate all of the mom to mom moments in Steel Magnolias. Like when Field’s character lectures her daughter Shelby, who is played by Julia Roberts, about having a baby as a woman with Diabetes and other health problems. M’Lynn tells her that her body can only handle so much, but Shelby explains that she wants a baby and can't adopt one, so she just wants her mother to be happy for her. It’s all very emotional, so if your own mom never forced you to watch Steel Magnolias, be warned that you will need the tissues.
When Alison (Katherine Heigl) is toward the end of her pregnancy and feeling sorry for herself, her sister Debbie, played by Leslie Mann, bursts into her living room and gets her out of her slump. She tells her that they are going to get up and have fun, despite their similarly dour but different situations with the respective fathers of their children. It’s pretty adorable, even if their night out at the club results in getting turned away because of Debbie’s age and Alison’s baby bump.
In another Bad Moms scene, Kiki, played by Kristen Bell, says, "In this day and age, it’s impossible to be a good mom." All three of the moms talk about the back breaking work they do for little to no payoff from their families, and in some cases, that is painfully accurate. Maybe it’s because some kids are too young to really show genuine appreciation, but it still feels like a heavy load at the end of the day.
There are a lot of moments in Stepmom that make it hard to re-watch the movie without turning into a blubbering mess. But when Jackie (Susan Sarandon) tells Isabel (Julia Roberts) how to care for her children after she dies, it’s hard to watch. Jackie finally trusts her children's soon-to-be step-mother with them and she kind of has no choice since she’s dying and it’s a big turning point in the movie. But I still can't hear "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough" without thinking about Stepmom and tearing up.
Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts’ scene in Mother’s Day might not be a total tearjerker, but when they first meet, Aniston's character explains how her ex-husband traded her in for a younger woman and the two bond over it in a totally natural way. Unbeknownst to Roberts’ character, who gave a daughter up for adoption years earlier, she is also a mom bonding with a single mom, but that comes later in the movie.
Despite Juno being an overly precocious teenager who was a total pain in the ass of her dad and her step-mom, Brenda, in Juno, she managed to grow closer to her step-mom because of her unplanned pregnancy. When Juno is in the hospital trying to get answers from an ultrasound technician, Brenda steps up and tells her off to defend Juno. It’s kind of beautiful and if you watch Juno while being pregnant yourself, it will totally make you sob.
The Kids Are Alright
In The Kids Are Alright, Nic and Jules play a married couple who have been together for years and have two children who they conceived with different sperm donors. When the kids seek out one of their birth fathers, Jules gets a little too close to him and actually cheats on Nic. When they finally hash it all out, it’s about more than two moms having a major moment. It’s also about a couple at a crossroads, so it brings the feels in more ways than one.
Maybe your idea of the perfect Mother’s Day doesn't involve watching sappy mom-themed movies so you can have a good cry or two. But if you’re also a mom, you can totally appreciate all of these mom to mom moments which might help you appreciate your own mom a little more.