My mom isn’t much of a movie person. She rarely sees movies in theaters: they’re too loud, for one thing, and she doesn’t like that she can’t pause them to go to the bathroom or smoke. I still remember the look of horror on her face toward the end of Return of the King, when my assurance that the movie was almost over wasn’t enough to convince her that she would see the light of day again. She usually avoids the whole situation and throws a movie on when she’s ironing or just wants something in the background. Occasionally, though, she and I will sit down together, a bowl of popcorn between us, and enjoy one of our favorites together.
With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday (you already sent her a card, right?), we’re all feeling a bit sentimental. Hit the jump to see which movies the Flixist staff watch with their mommies. When you’re done imagining how adorable we are were as children, tell us what your mom likes to watch with you in the community blogs.
Sure, Mom has her romantic favorites: Dirty Dancing and The Bodyguard were two very well-played VHS tapes in our house. Nothing, however, makes me remember evenings with her like Top Secret!. It’s probably not what most people think of when they imagine a movie that inspires parental bonding, but there’s nothing quite like laughing at a raunchy comedy with your mother to remind you that everyone, even Mom, likes a good dick joke. Given the nature of the film, I didn’t understand a few gags until I was older, but that just made each viewing all the more entertaining. Of course, if your mom is a conservative woman, this may not be the best film to watch with her, but it’s still worth a try; your mom’s not that innocent, after all. – Jenika Katz
Pretty much every Star Trek movie
My mom’s a Trekkie, in the best way. I think if she wasn’t such a workaholic, I’d probably have gone to a convention or two most years. As such, it was a nigh-yearly ritual for me to take her to Star Trek moves as they came out, and it just so happened that they usually came out near her birthday. This began with Star Trek Generations and ended two movies later with Insurrection. We both looked at Nemesis and realized that that noise wasn’t about to happen. In fact, one of my greatest regrets of being away from home was that, when the Abrams Star Trek came out, it was the first Star Trek move that I was completely unable to take her to. Oh god, she’s reading this and bawling like a baby right now, I guarantee it. Also, for those of you out there with less geek-y mothers, Star Trek, at its core, is about the highest endeavors of the human spirit, and of humanity’s best qualities literally saving the universe. If you’re interested in a Star Trek movie you can bring Mom to, I’d suggest either the newest one or The Voyage Home, a.k.a The One with the Whales. It’s even got an animal-friendly message!- Alex Katz
White Christmas/Holiday Inn
I’m totally blowing using these for Holiday tradition movies some time down the road, but I think my family’s Holiday tradition of watching both White Christmas and Holiday Inn fits better into a celebration of my mother than a Christmas time post. This is because sitting me down and making me watch these films every year since I was young is one of the biggest reasons I have not only a great appreciation for classic musical, Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby, but also film in general. I will admit that some years, schlepping over to my parent’s house to watch these seems like a chore, but every time I sit down with my mom and we pop them in it becomes something we share. They’re also perfect for watching with your mother. It’s all catchy songs, dance numbers and holiday cheer and you don’t have to worry about anything getting awkward because of nudity or violence or something. Well, maybe you have to hide some tears at the end of Holiday Inn, but otherwise this is perfect mother/son fodder. I’m sure for you younger types out there this won’t hold true as the films are past your mom’s time, but for me this is a chance to join in and watch movies that my mom has always loved and that I love now too. – Matthew Razak
The Sound of Music
I’m not hearing a goddamn word against The Sound of Music. It’s amazing. It has Nazis, nuns and Christopher Plummer. It’s frequently hilarious and the songs are the catchiest of any screen musical. Julie Andrews is on top form in both voice and charm, all delighted hops and impromptu bursts of song. She’s the manic pixie dream girl before such ideas even existed, and it’s no surprise that Captain Von Trapp falls so hard for her. True, there are no shortage of sprogs running around, but they’re more adorable than irritating and their rendition of ‘So Long, Farewell’ is charmingly silly. Sound of Music is bright and delightful, totally driven by its massive heart (and lungs) without an ounce of cynicism. That doesn’t mean it waters down the terrible reality of its setting though, all taking place on the eve of Austria’s occupation by the Nazis. In particular, Liesl’s budding romance with Rolfe ends on a note much darker and more tragic than the film is often given credit for. Beneath the gorgeous visuals and uplifting music, there’s an honest and affecting drama that gives the film real emotional weight. It’s an absolutely perfect choice for any movie geek to watch with their mum, working both as the sing-a-long musical to end all musicals and as a wonderful film in its own right. Plus, it’s a brilliant excuse to dress up as a nun. – Xander Markham
My mom is delightfully old-fashioned when it comes to movies. She only has two favorite movies that I can think of, and both are based off of cherished books. Seminal classic Gone with the Wind, and family drama staple Little Women. My mom grew up in a big family with several sisters, and she told me when I was young that she identified herself with the character Jo, played by Winona Ryder, the rebellious yet down-to-earth second eldest sister. I can see the resemblance. One cinematic moment that will forever be imprinted on my mind is a part of the opening of Little Women where Mrs. March, played by Susan Sarandon, is coming home to her girls and she kicks her snow-laden boots against their doorway as she enters. The girls hear the sound of their mother’s boots and come rushing to greet her. Just like when my younger brother and I were little, we used to listen to the sound of our mom’s car pulling in the driveway, waiting to greet her at the door too. – Liz Rugg
My mom and I have several movies we like to watch together. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Men in Black, There’s Something About Mary, and just about any Star Wars movie are all top picks between me and my mother. But there’s only one movie that is the end-all be-all of flicks we like to watch together. And that would be Independence Day. Maybe it’s because we both like big dumb action movies, or maybe it’s our mutual crush on Jeff Goldblum. I actually think it’s because this is one of the few movies that we went to the theater to see when I was a wee lad, and continue to watch together all these years later. I remember once, while watching the movie at home, I told the fighter pilots to “shoot those alien sons of bitches down”. I never felt prouder as an American, but my mom didn’t appreciate the swearing. We reminisce about it every time we put the movie on, just before kicking back with some popcorn. It’s also one of the movies that I absolutely love to watch with her, because we can quote the entire thing now. So mom, when you come out to LA in a few days, I fully expect us to watch Jeff Goldblum be handsome and shoot those alien sons of bitches down. – Max Roahrig
Pretty much any Kevin Costner film, and being scarred for life
When it comes to film traditions, the only one we have is watching Home Alone and A Christmas Story every Winter while putting up the Christmas tree. It doesn’t matter how many times we watch the John Hughes classic, I’ll always grin til my face hurts, and she’ll always shriek with Marv during the infamous spider scene until her voice hurts, and I look forward to it every year. However, the one thing I look forward to never repeating, is watching Howard Stern’s Private Parts autobiography film with my mother. I love that after turning ten, my parents never sheltered me from much, but watching a topless girl straddle a bass speaker while Howard hums into the radio so she can masturbate to his voice has got to be one of the most awkward things a preteen can ever witness while sitting next to his mom on the couch. It was and still is a great movie, but I’m convinced it’s why I now need to wear glasses. Something I’ll gladly watch with her on any holiday though, is whatever Kevin Costner film happens to be on TBS for the 1000th time. He’s always been her innocent McDreamy, and I’ve got to admit that his films are usually somewhat underrated, so I always enjoy rewatching Costner “casual classics” with her. – Tom Fronczak