Motherhood (R15)

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Review byMatthew Turner4/03/2010

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Disappointing, faintly patronising comedy-drama that's light on both laughs and drama, thanks to an underwritten script and an irritating lead character.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Katherine Dieckman, Motherhood is a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama set over the course of a single day in New York. Uma Thurman stars as Eliza Welsh, an aspiring writer and stressed-out mother of two young children, who spends the day trying to juggle a mixture of things: the organising of a birthday party for her six-year-old daughter (Daisy Tahan); a towed-away car; minor run-ins with her neighbours; finding time to update her blog; and her head-in-the-clouds husband Avery (Anthony Edwards). All of this while trying to finish a piece on motherhood for a competition that could net her a writing job.

As if that wasn't enough, Eliza annoys her heavily pregnant best friend Sheila (Minnie Driver) by blogging about something Sheila had told her in private and also has a minor flirtation with an attractive courier (Arjun Gupta) who helps her carry her shopping. Oh, and there's something about a cake.

The Good
Minnie Driver is basically the best thing in the movie, nabbing the only funny lines and generally making you wish the film was about her character instead. There's also an amusing cameo from Clea Lewis (as a friend with an unorthodox method of dealing with her child's tears) and a bizarre appearance by Jodie Foster, as herself, being hassled by the paps when she takes her daughter to the playground.

To be fair, the scene where Eliza dances with the courier (briefly considering the possibility of a fling and also glimpsing a life she could have had) is well handled and works well, but it's also the only moment in the film where you actually care what happens to her character.

The Bad
Aside from a lack of laughs, the film's biggest problem is that the script purports to have words of wisdom to impart on the subject of motherhood but actually comes across as crass and faintly patronising. As a result, Eliza is as deeply irritating as her blog (The Bjorn Identity) while Edwards is practically non-existent as Avery and there's no chemistry between them at all, so the supposedly emotional finale doesn't ring true.

Worth seeing?
Motherhood is a disappointing comedy-drama that's short on laughs and fails to connect on an emotional level.

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Content updated: 19/04/2019 04:23

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