15 Movies to Watch with Mom on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and you know what she wants most — to spend an evening with you. So pop some popcorn, grab the cozy blankets and cuddle up with mom with one of these fun flicks and some much-needed quality time.  

  1. Mamma Mia. Based on the popular Broadway musical, this movie has mother-daughter bonding written all over it. The young bride-to-be searches for her real father only to discover that there are three prospects; meanwhile, her mother is dumbfounded over her daughter’s desire to get married at all. (Talk about not seeing eye-to-eye.) You’ll celebrate their complicated relationship while singing along to ABBA’s greatest hits.
  2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. A young Greek woman falls in love with a non-Greek fella, and hilarity ensues. As she struggles to introduce him to her hysterically clichéd Greek family (they own a restaurant called Dancing Zorba’s — of course), she realizes along the way how proud she is to be a part of that family. It’s a fun watch — and a subtle reminder to be grateful for your own crazy family.
  3. Brave. Disney movies have come a long way. Instead of princesses being saved by Prince Charmings, they’re saving themselves these days. Brave is the animated story of a precocious young princess and her quest to break free from her mother’s old-fashioned rules, specifically, betrothal. Set in an old Scottish kingdom, Merida and her mother learn to bridge the generational gap and mend the mother-daughter bond. It’s a real Girl Power movie experience. (And the animation is truly impressive.)
  4. Throw Momma From the Train. The title alone makes this one a curious pick for Mother’s Day. But for folks who are uninterested in sentimental tearjerkers, this black comedy delivers. Billy Crystal is a writer whose hated ex-wife stole his book and made millions from it; Danny DeVito is a student of Crystal’s who lives with his horrible, overbearing mother. So DeVito offs Crystal’s ex-wife, then expects him to return the favor. You and Mom will laugh out loud — or perhaps stare at each other in horror. Either way, it’ll be a night to remember.

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  1. Steel Magnolias. No matter how many times you’ve seen Steel Magnolias, it always requires a full box of Kleenex. But you’ll laugh as much as you’ll cry, and you’ll hug your mom a little tighter than usual at the end. So fluff up your big hair and repeat after me in your best southern accent: “Pink is my signature color.”  
  2. Juno. An offbeat 16-year-old and her awkward best friend/boyfriend become pregnant. A hilariously fantastic indie film for Mother’s Day, Juno keeps the wit and charm coming for 90 straight minutes. Plus, your mom may realize that, comparatively, any trouble you got into as a kid was small potatoes.
  3. Little Women. If you’re looking for a classic, Little Women is it. The four very different March sisters and their strong-willed mother struggle through life’s adventures both big and small. It’s a reminder that the bond of sisterhood transcends just about anything else — and that drama has probably plagued the homes of teenage girls since the beginning of time.
  4. The Blind Side. This instant classic features an Academy Award-winning performance by Sandra Bullock, and it’s based on the true story of Michael Oher. A Southern family takes Oher in after he’s been cycled through the foster system and helps nurture and support him. Along the way, they support his dream of playing football — and he’s pretty successful. Oher eventually was a first-round draft NFL draft pick and won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. This drama tugs at the heartstrings and reminds you about the power of a mother’s love — no matter where her kids come from.   
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  1. Terms of Endearment. The tearjerker of all tearjerkers, but still. It’s about the love-hate relationship between a mother and daughter, and of course we can all relate to that. Despite disagreements and time and distance and illness, Terms of Endearment shows us that daughters always need their mothers — and the love of a mother can never be shaken. 
  2. Now and Then. Four childhood friends promise to always be there for each other, then reunite years later when one is due to give birth to her first daughter. It’s especially fun because the story chronicles the friends first as girls, then as women. It’s a movie you could watch over and over again, and a reminder that though we all must eventually grow up, strong friendships withstand the test of time.
  3. The Help. Set in Jackson, Mississippi, this movie takes a deep dive into race relations and the network of maids who helped raise a generation of Southern children. An all-star cast will keep you engrossed, and the powerful message will give you a lot to talk about. It will also make you grateful for all the women who helped raise you.
  4. The Joy Luck Club. Based on the best-selling book, The Joy Luck Club takes you through a multi-generation journey of motherhood as Chinese immigrants adapt to life in America. Life is sometimes tragic, but this ultimately uplifting movie will remind you to learn more about your roots and be grateful for your heritage.

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  1. Parenthood. Your mom might be a fan of the NBC television series that ran for six seasons, but have you seen the 1989 classic that inspired it? Directed by Ron Howard, Parenthood delves into the relationships between adult siblings and how they balance raising children with a variety of problems. Plus, Steve Martin is one of the leads, so you know you’ll laugh along the way.
  2. The Sound of Music. Oh, to be a mother as fun and childlike as Fraulein Maria. Her love transforms the unhappy Von Trapp children into a septet so smiling and cheerful that they break into song approximately every 20 minutes. The Sound of Music has timeless appeal, music you won’t be able to quit singing and historical relevance that never hurts.
  3. Freaky Friday. An overworked mother and her teenage daughter can’t seem to get along (imagine that), until they switch bodies for one “freaky Friday.” They get into some pretty entertaining predicaments as they literally walk a mile in the other’s shoes. And, of course, they learn along the way to not only respect their differences, but embrace them. Watch either the classic Disney version or the update.
 Brooke Neal is a freelance writer, brand strategist & mom to three little boys.