The Bad Mother's Handbook

So I've realized that people have actually commented on this within the past few months, and now that I have a little bit more time on my hands have decided to start writing again. I haven't stopped watching movies (obviously), but I think this time around I'm really going to take the time to refine what it is I want out of this site.

I recently watched a movie called The Bad Mother's Handbook, a British indie film from 2007 starring Catherine Tate (the woman who was Nellie Bertram on this past season of the office).
The ad for it said it starred Robert Pattinson, but in reality, he had like four lines and you couldn't even see his face because of his awkward Buddy Holly glasses and emo-hair. He's even on the front of the movie poster as if he is the main character, which is weird, but whatever.

Still not as bad as THIS promotional disaster... Rupert Grint doesn't even look like this in the movie and I'm pretty sure that's just him in Harry Potter....

I love independent movies because they are so unpolished. There are a couple things that were unnecessary, some plot holes, events that made no sense, and ridiculous repetitions of music made to amplify the drama of a scene. Towards the end of the movie, the grandmother has a stroke, but then gets better five minutes later. Why was this a necessary plot point? Who cares? It's an indie film. There is more than enough room for mistakes.

Single mother Karen finds out she's adopted, and her mother, who is suffering from dementia, can't seem to process anything and goes in and out of acknowledging what is going on. Karen can't turn to her mother for support, so she decides to contact her birth mother with severe repercussions. Meanwhile, her daughter gets knocked up herself, and Karen is determined to give Charlotte (her daughter) the lesson that she never had as a young mother. Charlotte is bitter with her mother for not supporting her, and Karen feels like she failed her daughter as a parent. Charlotte ends up turning to Daniel, the awkward new boy in school, for support. In the end, they come together, but it's a tough situation to swallow.

What was great about this movie was the fact that even though it was touching toward the end, you never felt like those moments were thrown in your face. The characters developed independently, since the movie was really about how Karen is dealing with all her own shit while abandoning her daughter in a time of need. Charlotte ends up being the one taking care of herself and her grandmother, giving the audience a lot of room to see each "bad mother" on her own, creating a more realistic dynamic than if every scene were about their feelings toward one another.

On the whole, I thought all the acting except Pattison's was awesome. He just kind of looked like a constipated hipster at a Girl Talk concert. But I loved the grandmother, and Charlotte's father was pretty great as the comedic relief. Most of the acting was understated, which always earns a thumbs up in my book. Also, the fact that this was a film centered primarily around women and their relationships with each other (without being purposefully sob-inducing) was a great factor.

On the whole, I would add this to your Netflix if you have one. Don't be fooled by the cover, however— Edward Cullen is totally not the star. Actually, I wish he would go away.


The Movie Mistress

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