Mom-Approved Films: 5 Must-See Movies

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Who doesn’t love a good mom movie?!

In celebration of my husband’s 40th birthday, we actually hired a ‘sitter and went to This is 40. And let’s just say we laughed tears of joy, alongside our nervous realizations while watching this coming of age tale.

So I got inspired to write about 5 mom-approved movies. Here’s my list – have you seen these great flicks yet?

  • This is 40

Starring Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, This is 40 depicts a married couple, Pete and Debbie, who can barely hold their lives together. With a failing career, mounting debt, mooching relatives, two daughters that fight non-stop and a family addicted to technology, this film hits a chord for many of us.

Why it’s mom-approved: Debbie works hard at staying fit, she loves Top 40 tunes, has a hard time letting go of her youth, and hates helping out at her kids’ school. Let’s just say I can relate! Pete’s ‘potty time’ and ‘professional’ biking with his buddies was way too hilarious. And the fact that they talk about plotting out each others’ deaths just about killed me! This is definitely one of my favorite films in a long time.

  • Riding in Cars with Boys

Riding in Cars with Boys is a 2001 film about intelligent yet naive Beverly Donofrio, a woman who became a teen mother, and who later earns a master’s degree. Played by beloved actress Drew Barrymore, Beverly steals your heart as a teen mom who has potential coming out of her ears, and navigates an unplanned pregnancy and the consequences that follow.

Why it’s mom-approved: Watching Beverly make parenting mistakes and ‘grow up’ alongside her son – while showcasing the important relationships with her BFF and her parents – makes for a very moving film. There’s nothing more empowering than finding yourself, and Drew captures this with perfection in Riding in Cars with Boys, one of my all-time favorite films.

  • Erin Brockovich:

Julia Roberts stars in this powerful 2000 film, based on a true story. Erin Brockovich is an unemployed single mom who becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.

Why it’s mom-approved: Although the odds were against her, Erin believed in herself and in a good cause. This movies goes to show how one person can make a difference, regardless of education level, class, or marital status. After watching this show, moms want to fight for a better future for their kids. Go Erin!

  • Stepmom:

Another Julia Roberts classic!

In this 1998 film, Susan Sarandon plays Jackie Harrison, a mom-of-two dying of cancer, who decides to mentor the new woman (Julia) in her ex-husband’s life on how to be a good stepmom to her kids.

Why it’s mom-approved: Although she’s terminally ill, Jackie still believes in celebrating her family’s time together. Who could forget that scene where she joyously dances with her kids to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough?! This movie touches on a few very serious topics – divorce, cancer, step/co-parenting – and encourages the audience to open their hearts and minds.

  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood:

Who doesn’t love Sandra Bullock?!

In this 2002 film, Sandy B’s character Siddalee, a well-known New York playwright, has been estranged from her mother (Vivi) for years. Determined to bring the mother-daughter duo back together, Vivi’s childhood friends kidnap Siddalee and bring her home to explain her mother’s troubled past.

Why it’s mom-approved: This film explores the complexity of female relationships and the deep connection between mothers and daughters. In the perfect girls’ night out movie, Siddalle and Vivi remind us that being honest with ourselves, and having a forgiving heart, are all that really matters in life.

Do you agree with this list? What are some of your favorite must-see mom movies?

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  1. Christina

    Love this list! I would add all films with Julia Roberts :)

  2. tw

    Good picks! Other favs of mine include: Where the Heart Is (Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd)
    and Eat, Pray, Love (another Julia Roberts!)

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