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Mother [VHS]
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Product Description

When Albert Brooks cast Debbie Reynolds to play his mother in this acclaimed 1996 comedy, the veteran singer-dancer-actress hadn't had a leading film role in nearly 30 years. Brooks had to pour on the charm to persuade her to make a comeback. The results were triumphant for writer-director Brooks and his on-screen mom, who earned some of the best reviews of their respective careers. The movie's about a science-fiction writer named John (Brooks), who's just weathered a second divorce and blames his failure with women on his dysfunctional relationship with his widowed mother (Reynolds). He decides that the best way to improve his romantic future is to move back in with his mother and resolve their simmering differences--a wild leap of logic that seems outrageous to John's brother (Rob Morrow), who has always been their mother's favorite son. As this domestic experiment unfolds, Brooks uses hilarious dialogue to convey a wealth of observant detail about familial tensions and annoying quirks of behavior. Mother is a movie about people who know how to push each other's buttons--all the wrong buttons--and the comedy will be recognized by anyone who's ever been exasperated by one or both of their parents. That means just about everyone, doesn't it? --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • Smartly Hilarious!
    I have always been a fan of Albert Brooks. He is a subtle genius with perfectly-timed sarcasm.
    This film isn't fast-paced, obvious, or sexy: It is thoroughly entertaining, witty, and universal. Brooks uses dialogue (remember when actors spoke to act?) to ferry his observations.
    I love the perspective of a middle-aged writer who conceptualizes "The Experiment" during his introspective, post-divorce period. His tenacity and vulnerablity portray the nature of a writer perfectly.
    Debbie Reynolds is lovely and enjoyable and funny! She is, as always, elegantly sweet and "in" character.
    You may miss a few lines while laughing--you'll enjoy the second viewing all-the-more....more info
  • Mother and Child Reunion
    You would think any movie entitled MOTHER would either have to be the ultimate schmaltzfest or the penultimate psychodrama. Surprise! Albert Brooks film is neither. In fact, Brooks' specialty seems to be taking potentially weighty themes and making smart, but still lighter-than-air films on them. What DEFENDING YOUR LIFE did for the afterlife, MOTHER does for family relations. And that's a good thing.

    Brooks has a deft, understated comic flair. You chuckle more often than you laugh out loud. Contrary to what others have posted below, Debbie Reynolds "Mother" character is not a black and white character at all. She's as conflicted and complicated--and as it turns out, just as smart--as her neurotic son(s). That's the beauty part. Brooks allows all his characters their humanity. He doesn't oversimplify things (frustrated son vs. castrating mother). Mother had her own issues--dating back to her own childhood and adolescence. Brooks' writer character John finally makes that realization and, in a very real sense, it proves liberating for him. But that almost makes MOTHER sound like more of a "message movie" than it ever was intended to be. In the end, MOTHER makes a gentle plea for self-realization for all. But that message just kind of sneaks up on you. What makes Albert Brooks kind of refreshing is that he doesn't have to lay it on with a trowel....more info

  • A wonderfully funny movie
    I have lost count of the times I have seen and laughed with this movie. I own it on VHS and I am planning to buy it again on DVD. Who does not feel identified in some way with this mother. All mothers are more or less like this one. They love you but they cannot help stuffing you with lots of food you don t wanna eat, embarassing you with situations you would not like to go through, but deep inside they love you and want the best for you. This movie is one of the best I have seen in a long time. Go for it....more info
  • Often cliched, but just as often laugh-out-loud funny.
    By far the greatest amusement in this movie is if you can at least partially recognize your own mother. Albert Brooks' mother grocery shops in bulk (though she lives alone), freezes *everything*, tells everyone she meets about personal details of her son's life while refusing to tell him anything about hers, and as it is Debbie Reynolds, who hasn't missed a beat in 50 years, she makes it all seem so very normal.

    To be sure, the movie has some weak/slow points; it's unfortunate - these seem to be sub-plots worked in to keep the movie from being more than a one-trick pony, but that one trick is so much better than all the filler that it could likely stand on its own. As well, yes, the basic plot itself is somewhat awkward and shoe-horned in as a setup, and this is apparent. As a result, when the movie ends most people will have a smile on their faces, but also a distinct "what was all that other stuff about?" feeling.

    All the same, if your mother is obsessive, neurotic, socially aggravating, secretive, embarrassing, or otherwise impossible to relate to - and yet you love her - you won't be disappointed by this fundamentally affectionate movie about sons and mothers....more info
  • My favorite movie
    I love this movie. It is Debbie Reynols at her best. She still has it. Her humor is great....more info
  • Brilliant fun!
    This brilliantly funny movie will keep you in stitches. I watched this with my Mom and my Grandmother and all of us were in stitches, especially when Debbie Reynolds talks about "protective covering." My Grandmother does that. This is witty and fun, fast and who knew Debbie Reynolds had such comedic timing (I saw an old movie of Molly Brown and that was funny too.) This is safe to watch for the entire family, a rare thing these days! ...more info
  • Mother yo had me bou I didn't have you
    If you are ready to see yourself in your genetic conditioning and in a most hillarious way, then "Mother, as John Lennon said, you had me but I didn't have you" is your movie. Funny as funny can be. If you enjoy Albert Brooks, and I don't see how you can't, then Mother will tickle you again and again. Great stuff....more info
  • If only every neurosis were so simply cured
    Albert Brooks plays John, a 40-something science fiction writer who decides he will never be able to have a successful relationship with a woman until he figures out his relationship with the first woman in his life. So he moves into his mother's (Debbie Reynolds) house and reconstructs his old bedroom. They spend their time gently bickering over grocery shopping and the strange characters that appear in John's books, embarrassing each other in front of strangers, and exacerbating the rivalry between John and his brother. Eventually, he manages to get the beginning of a realization that Mother is also a person with a life of her own....more info
  • Oh Brother, is Mother funny
    Whoever said your past doesn't affect your present or your future hasn't seen 'Mother,' nor dealt with reality. What makes 'Mother' so funny is that it is identifiable; all of us, in one way or another, has had a 'Mother' moment, either with our own Mother or as a Mother. Granted, I've never purchased cheese by the gross or frozen lettuce, but I have short stories in my closet, that if my children read them, I'd react as Debbie Reynold's character did.
    How Albert Brooks character dealt with the favored younger brother and his Mother in the movie was hilarious; the discussion with them in the front yard while the neighbor listens over the fence was so funny, I laughed out loud. Great flick, definitely a keeper!...more info
  • You DON'T have to be over 40 to enjoy this movie
    I think the realistic, yet funny, mother/child relationship has a lot to do with why this is such a pleasant movie to watch. Someone commented that this movie will probably not be enjoyable to those under 40 years of age, but I would have to disagree with that. I'm 19 now and was even younger when I first saw this movie, yet I still think it's one of the most enjoyable movies I've seen.
    Everyone has different taste when it comes to movies, but I think everyone should watch this movie at least once. It will bring back memories, and I'm sure you will enjoy it regardless of your age....more info
  • A Mother like no other
    This is one of Albert Brooks's best films. It definitely showcases his comic talent along with Debbie Reynolds. I saw it @ the movies years ago & was recently reminded of it & had to purchase it right away. There are classic moments & funny lines, too many to repeat..... a lot of them dealing with food. Rob Morrow has a supporting role as the "baby" brother & his whining may be all too familiar to those that have had a rival with their sibling for Mother's attention.
    If you are looking for a grown-up comedy..look no further.
    Mother is a winner !

    ...more info
  • Debbie Reynolds IS the universal Mom!
    Debbie Reynolds should have won the 1996 Academy Award for "Best Actress" for this film. I saw it when it opened in theaters with my own mother, and as the situations unfolded, watching Miss Reynolds' performance, I couldn't help thinking, "My God, they're twins!"...more info
  • Great movie
    I am an Albert Brooks fan, and I think this is one of his best... A VERY funny movie!...more info
  • brooks best
    This is a great movie.. more so if you have a mother anything like the one Debbie Reynolds portrays. The funniest scenes revolve around food.
    One of the few movies I would actually buy....more info
  • You Might Like It If You're Over The Age Of 40
    Every movie has a target age demographic and audience, and I think I might have been too young to fully appreciate this kind of movie. There's nothing in here that I was too young to see or comprehend, but perhaps I was too young to relate and identify, and so I didn't find this movie as entertaining as I would have liked.

    This movie is about a middle-aged writer named John (Albert Brooks) who has just finalized his second divorce and decides his problems with women might be rooted in his childhood relationship with his mother (Debbie Reynolds). He travels from his house in Los Angeles to his childhood home in Sausalito and moves back in with her in order to reconstruct the past and see exactly where things went wrong in their relationship. There's a rather amusing running joke about how they're comically mismatched, especially when it comes to their choices in food. This living situation goes on for a few weeks until John discovers an old hat box in the closet containing some old short stories that his mother had written before he was born. John realizes that his mother used to be a very gifted writer, and he wonders if his sullen relationship with her has anything to do with the fact that she had to stop writing in order to raise a family.

    The movie is a comedy, and while there are some light chuckles here and there, there aren't enough. The story seems to linger on until the last five minutes, where everything is hastily resolved. Albert Brooks has always been a solid B-level actor, and that's exactly what he is in this anemic performance. There's probably a reason why this is Debbie Reynolds' first leading role in almost 30 years, and it might have to do with the fact that she's not much of an actress, herself. I never got the feeling that she was really acting, but instead, just delivering the lines written in the movie's script. Rob Morrow gives a solid performance as Jeff, John's younger and more successful sibling who relies heavily on his mother's praise and approval.

    You might like this movie if you're over the age of 40, but if you're any younger than that, find something else to watch....more info

  • On a very short list of my favorite movies!
    Debbie Reynolds sparkles! Albert Brooks is, as always, hysterical. I could swear that they were spying on my mother and myself when writing the screenplay! Wonderful!...more info
  • A let down.....
    Started out with very little promise....continued to fizzle until the end. Use it to balance out the dining room table....more info
  • This is My Mother!!!!
    This movie was so hillarious!!! My sister and I watched it and we rolled on the floor laughing. It was just like our Mother. A must see for everyone!
    ...more info
  • All too familiar
    This movie hits home with it's depiction of mothers and their children. Although it is based on the mother/son relationship I, a female, still appreciated all the fine points of recognizing the differences in generations. Anyone with a mother will laugh until their belly hurts when the mother tries to work a video phone or explain the freezer burn on ice cream. I totally recommend this movie as well as all other Albert Brooks' films....more info