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Unsung Wonder-Moms in Film

by McKenna on December 10, 2007
category: Pop culture

This whole week at The Mom Crowd, we will be hearing from guest bloggers. Dawn is our first guest blogger. She is a friend of Amanda’s and has been a dedicated reader of The Mom Crowd. She wrote a great post! If you want to learn more about Dawn, check out her at Everything I’ve Ever Wondered*. Happy Reading! ~McKenna

Hey moms! I’m Dawn, mother of Lucy (22 mos) and Eli (5 mos). So Amanda asked me to write a post for The Mom Crowd. I spent several days thinking of ideas for my post (“I Hate My Closet: Why Getting Dressed Isn’t as Fun as It Used to Be”; “When My Body is Truly Mine Again: How I Spanned 3 Years and 2 Olympic Games Pregnant, Nursing, or Both”; “Guilt: How Much TV is Too Much TV When You Love to Watch TV?”), and I decided that I’d better leave the child-rearing wisdom to the experts. I am going to stick with one of my favorite topics-an area in which I have far too much knowledge: pop culture. So I present to you, dear mommies, my

Favorite Five Unsung Wonder-Moms in Film

Most folks would agree that Terms of Endearment is an iconic film about mothers & daughters. I like the movie a lot, sure, and I think the acting and story are top-notch. However, too much attention is paid to Shirley MacLaine’s character (Aurora Greenway), the doting and unusual mother of Debra Winger’s Emma. What about those other movie moms, the quiet ones, who are fantastic mom characters? They forego the quirky, kooky side and show us what lots of real moms act like. I decided to give them a shout-out, starting with

1. Lorri Morris, played by Rachel Griffiths in The Rookie. Not only does she have 3 young kids (including one baby), she’s a full time high school counselor. Plus, her husband decides to leave the family for months at a time to pursue a crazy pro-baseball dream! Their marriage is a perfect example of a wife who is supportive yet realistic (although I must confess I doubt I’d be as patient as she appeared to be). I love the scene when their baby wakes up in the middle of the night, and the couple lies in bed, discussing who should get up to comfort her. Ultimately, the mom ends up rocking the baby back to sleep, singing to her softly. She is strength and love personified.

2. “Mom”, played by Karen Allen, in The Sandlot. She shows the power of simple understanding when her young son struggles to fit in with the new crowd after a move. She gently encourages him to go outside, to get into trouble, to get dirty! In her own words: “Not a lot of moms would make an offer like that.” The most telling scene? Scotty finally makes a friend in Benny (who gives him a glove and hat so he can join the team), and Scotty excitedly runs into the house, shouting, “Hey Mom! Guess what!?” He knew his mom would be just as excited about it. Awww…

3. “Kate Reynolds”, played by Tea Leoni in The Family Man. Just your basic great-mom-who’s-also-a-hottie, taking care of the kids each day and loving her husband even though he’s sometimes a selfish lout. “…maybe I was being naive, but I believed that we would grow old together in this house. That we’d spend holidays here and have our grandchildren come visit us here. I had this image of us, all grey and wrinkly, and me working in the garden and you re-painting the deck. But things change. If you need this, Jack, if you really need this, I will take these kids from a life they love and I’ll take myself from the only home we’ve ever shared together and I’ll move wherever you need to go. I’ll do that because I love you. I love you, and that’s more important to me than our address. I choose us.”

4. “Annie Kinsella”, played by Amy Madigan in Field of Dreams. A former hippie who still loves a good demonstration every now & then, Annie is one spunky momma. She cracks jokes, gives her husband the benefit of the doubt, and cooks a mean tray of frozen french fries. She’s a hoot. Look for her getting her daughter’s lunch ready while wearing a Brownie beanie cap. (What is it with moms who are so supportive of their crazy-baseball-dream-driven husbands?)

5. “M’Lynn Eatenton“, played by Sally Field in Steel Magnolias. We’ve all seen it a thousand times: the gut-wrenching funeral scene where M’Lynn grieves loudly and at times, riotously. For me, though, the maternal love and strength of M’Lynn is shown in her reading to her comatose daughter at the hospital, in her crying and waving to her daughter as she leaves home for good, in her compassionate arms swung open wide as she picks up her precious grandson after Shelby dies. She’s one of the best movie moms ever.

C ome to think of it, a lot of these examples showcase what a strong marriage can look like, which has a definite effect on the children involved. What about you? What portrayals of movie motherhood have stood out to you? Share it in the comments section. And by the way, I love The Family Stone. I think Sybil Stone is a great mom (I love how she has a definite, adoring relationship with each of her grown children).

7 Responses to Unsung Wonder-Moms in Film

  • Gravatar
    Comment by amelia
    December 10, 2007 @ 9:48 am

    Very cool post, Dawn!

    I LOVE Tea Leoni’s character in The Family Man. I just watched that movie again and decided to get my hair cut like hers in the movie. Of course the hair stylist didn’t quite cut it that way but I think that some of her spunk in the movie was captured in her haircut and let’s face it, I think I wanted to feel cute and spunky again after having baby number 3!

    I haven’t seen Field Of Dreams though but I thought your picks for moms were great choices!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Melissa
    December 10, 2007 @ 5:15 pm

    I think you picked five great moms!

    I actually don’t like Sybil Stone at all, so I think it’s interesting that we see her so differently. Everytime I watch that movie, I wonder how half of her children came out so great, yet the two main ones (Dermot and Rachel) were so self-involved. I would love to see a prequel of the movie, though….wouldn’t it be interesting to see them all living in the same house?

    As for other moms, I like the mom from Dear Frankie (although she’s flawed), June Carter’s mom in Walk the Line, Idgie’s mom in Fried Green Tomatoes, and Helen Parr from The Incredibles.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Christina
    December 10, 2007 @ 11:52 pm

    YES! I LOVE “Kate Reynolds” in Family Man. That’s my favorite Christmas movie, and extra special since it was my husband and my’s first date!
    I’ve actually never seen Steel Magnolias, but have been meaning to for some time!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Dawn
    December 11, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

    I’m just amazed that you haven’t seen Field of Dreams, Amelia — or that you haven’t seen Steel Magnolias, Christina! Wow!! Such classics. Get thee to a Netflix queue, stat!!

    It’s interesting that you selected Idgie’s mom in FGT, Melissa, I was considering putting Ruth on the list as a mother to Buddy Jr.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Jenn
    December 12, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    Great choices Dawn! I have to go back and watch Field of Dreams for that brownie cap. I totally loved Sally Field in Steel Magnolias, very strong Mother, both in supporting and grieving with her family and friends.

    My pick would be, Michelle Pfeiffer in One Fine Day with George Clooney. She had my dream purse. The purse that could hold everything (and still looked great) including, a spare shirt, a raincoat, enough junk to create a costume for her kid… I try to have everything in my purse for all occasions… One fine day I will achieve that goal.

  • Comment by Amanda
    December 21, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    I agree “Kate Reynolds” is pretty cool. I just watched parts of the movie a few weeks and I still love the “I choose us” line.

    I LOVE The Sandlot. She is a pretty cool mom.

    Thanks for the great post Dawn!!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Katie downunder
    May 23, 2008 @ 12:40 am

    Great choices!

    I aspire to be a mix between Sybil and Annie with a dash of M’lynn thrown in!

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