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Movie Mom

Three close friends get together every week to share their saddest stories about looking for love. The one with the worst story of the week gets the consolation prize of a box of candy. Then, one of them has a good story, and the others are not as happy for her as they thought they would be.

The women are Kate (Andie MacDowell), headmistress of a school; Janine (Imelda Staunton), a police chief; and Molly (Anna Chancellor), a doctor. All three are very successful and capable and involved in the community. They just can’t seem to get the love thing right. And, in this movie, they discover that they as individuals and as a group may be more responsible for that problem than they have been willing to recognize.

While she is attending a funeral, Kate sees a handsome young organist (Kenny Doughty as Jed) who looks familiar. He was once her student, but is now grown up and, whether a reaction to seeing how quickly life is passing or just a need to be close to someone, she impulsively has sex with him. The bigger surprise is that it turns into a relationship of great tenderness for both of them.

Molly and Janine find it disconcerting. Kate’s radiant happiness rattles them. They persuade themselves that they are acting in Kate’s best interest when they try to break up the relationship. But their meddling has unforgivably tragic consequences.

The movie is uneven, partly because of its unconventional choice to make the story about the relationship between the three women rather than about the relationship between Kate and Jed. But its biggest problem is the awkwardly melodramatic interjection of a tragic death followed by a melodramatic pregnancy that threatens to turn it into soap opera.

Parents should know that the movie has very strong language and many sexual references and explicit sexual situations. Characters drink and smoke and behave very foolishly and irresponsibly.

Families who see this movie should talk about how friends who are supportive when things are not going well may become jealous of each other’s happiness, and how important it is to search our own hearts to make sure that we do not make that mistake.

Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy seeing MacDowell and Chancellor in Four Weddings and a Funeral, where, like this movie, they are both in a church when a wedding ceremony is very unceremoniously interrupted. They may also want to watch two other movies about middle-aged women who have romances with younger men, Forty Carats and How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

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