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Author: toni

~ 01/15/10

Welcome to Good Mommies in Movies where we review movies that feature “Good Moms”. This is for us less-than-perfekt mommies who sometimes need a little INSPIRATION to get through our days. One way to get it: by watching impossibly great movie moms in action.


THE BLIND SIDE – Okay. I don’t know when SANDRA BULLOCK went from playing ingenues to moms of teenagers, but it’s making me feel really old. But that icky feeling is pretty much forgotten while watching this movie because this is one the most feel-good movies I’ve seen in a long time. Sure this true story about a wealthy Christian white family (The Tuohy’s) taking in a homeless black kid and ultimately turning his life around to the point that he becomes a huge college and NFL football star (Baltimore Ravens’ MICHAEL OHER)  is a little Hollywood-ized and whitewashed. But did I mention IT’S TRUE?! And it’s nice. And it has a happy ending… So far anyway, because I haven’t read any locker room incidences involving him and guns or dogfighting. And I gotta hand it to the director for not overplaying the sentimentality of the piece or dwelling on the tragedy of his life. And forget Sandra Bullock, who pulls off a career-rekindling performance – I want to say KUDOS to the real-life Leigh Anne Tuohy, who is the real inspiration to me as a mom. Wow. The world could use more moms like her. She is soooo amazing in fact, she makes me feel a little inadequate as a mom and a human being that I haven’t gone out and adopted a bunch of needy kids. But then, I don’t own 30 something Taco Bells which allows me to to easily pay for private school and buy new cars for kids I take in off the street. I’ll be lucky if the Harry Potter party I’m throwing for my kid’s 8th birthday in our garage doesn’t break me. I know, I know. No excuses. Get out there and do something good for a child today. Like Leigh Anne! In theaters now.

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Author: toni

~ 08/27/09


Welcome to Good Mommies in Movies where we review movies that, you guessed it, feature “Good Moms”. This is for us less-than-perfekt mommies who sometimes need a little INSPIRATION to get through our days. One way to get it: by watching impossibly great movie moms in action.


I have been pretty ill lately. And seeing me so has made my 7 year-old daughter Julia very concerned. I think children expect their parents to always be strong and when they’re not, well…it rattles their whole world.

It can rattle a mommy’s world too. We always want to be there for our kids. Especially when they are young and need us so… but sometimes life throws us a curve ball.

What the heck does this all have to do with a movie review? Nothing. Except following is a movie where a mommy gets thrown life’s ultimate curve ball. And she inspires us with the grace with which she deals with it. Also, how good (and quite fashionable) she looks through it all.




STEPMOM – This film has TWO GOOD MOMMIES. A biological mom and a stepmom. Now, it’s a tear-jerker. And I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I will. So you better stop reading if you don’t want to know… Susan Sarandon, the divorced mom of TWO KIDS, comes down with cancer. And well, despite the gorgeous home, the perfect clothes, and all the amazing backlighting, it isn’t going to end well for her. And though she is not fond of ex-husband Ed Harris’ new wife Julia Roberts (and let’s face it, who would be if they were being replaced by a younger, skinny-legged international movie star?) she also realizes that her negative feelings toward Julia have nothing to do with Julia’s suitability as a mother figure, or her affection for Susan’s kids. In the end, she passes the mommy mantle to Julia, with her blessing. Now that’s motherly love. And the ultimate sacrifice.  I WILL NOT cry. I WILL NOT cry. (NOTE: CLICK ON the title to order from

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Author: toni

~ 06/24/09


So if you’re familiar with my website, you know I occasionally do MOVIE REVIEWS featuring either GOOD MOMMIES IN MOVIES (for inspiration) or BAD MOMMIES IN MOVIES (for vindication).  Well…

WEEDS is back for season 5! And in honor of that I am adding it to my Bad Mommies in Movies list. Oh, also my Good Mommies in Movies. Cuz know what? A mamma can be a little of both.  Mary Louise Parker’s character in the Showtime series WEEDS is. I am. Aren’t you…a little?


ANY EPISODE OF THE SHOWTIME SERIES “WEEDS” – I’m a fan of WEEDS. I’ve been watching it from the beginning. As a mom, I found the premise totally riveting. NANCY BOTWIN, upper middle class SUBURBAN HOUSEWIFE and MOTHER of 2 suddenly loses her HUSBAND and sole breadwinner to a heart attack. He leaves her penniless. Does she take a job at the Pottery Barn? Uh, not if she wants to keep the pool heated. Actually, not if she wants to keep the pool. Oh, and the house that goes with it. And the lifetsyle that goes with that. What can an under-educated, unemployable 40ish woman do to keep maintain a lifestyle that includes $150 a week Starbucks habit? Duh. Sell WEED!  

Okay, we totally understand a mom doing what she has to do to support her kids. Kudos to her for that. GOOD MOMMY. But selling weed? Even if you totally sympathize in the first couple of seasons, which personally I totally did, by the later seasons, you realize she’s just taking unnecessary risks. Cuz guess what? Nancy emerges as a bit of a thrill junkie who takes to the drug biz and starts going down all sorts of dangerous paths that make us question her suitability as a mommy.  When she begins repeatedly risking her life, we start to think that maybe this obsession to maintain a lifestyle isn’t worth leaving her TWO BOYS without a mother.  BAD MOMMY. But she still has a conscience, as evidenced by her ratting out her Mexican Mafia lover last season. GOOD MOMMY. But now’s she pregnant by him! AND he’s pushing her around and raping her against his desk and she’s just taking it!  BAD MOMMY. Or wait, maybe GOOD MOMMY, cuz she’s doing it to protect her boys. But isn’t she a BAD MOMMY for getting them in this predicament to begin with?

Oh who am I to judge? I’ve not walked in Nancy’s 4 inch tall, spiky, strappy Jimmy Choos. Not that I ever could. Not with my weak ankles and inner ear issues.

Bottom line, the show is a delicious guilty pleasure. Not only does it make you feel better as a mom (hey, at least you aren’t using your kids as your drug mules!) you’ll live a little vicariously through Nancy and all her wild and exciting adventures. (Face it, the only border you’ll be heading for is the one they talk about in the Taco Bell commercial).

Also, you’ll wish you could look so hot and skinny in baby doll dresses despite a constant diet of high-fat blended coffee drinks… oh and this season, a pregnancy!  A must-see for assuaging guilt AND just plain fun. 

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Author: toni

~ 05/27/09


As the school year madly draws to a close and I’m feeling the burns from desperately clinging to the end of my rope, I am REALLY NEEDING some INSPIRATION TO GET ME THROUGH IT ALL! Hence, today’s Good Mommies in Movies Post. 

Why that old chestnut, E.T., you ask?  Cuz DAMMIT! if Dee Wallace could hold it all together through divorce, single motherhood and an alien visitation, I should be able to pull through 3 talent show performances, a dance recital, field day, and the biggest load of homework that’s come home all year! Only one more week! Woo-Hoo!


ET – Okay, in this day and age, an argument could be made that Dee Wallace’s single mom MARY in this

classic, beloved film, isn’t really a good mom. I mean, she leaves ELLIOT home ALONE when he’s sick while she goes to work. She leaves 6 year-old GERTIE home alone while she runs to the school to pick up Elliot after he lets the frogs go. AND she lets the kids go out trick or treating all by themselves with the edict we haven’t heard since WE were kids: “Come home when it gets dark!” In this era of STRANGER DANGER PARANOIA, there’s no way in hell we’d do that. Or that they’d depict a mom in a movie doing that – unless she was a bad mom. But we have to remember, this was a different era. Twenty five years ago, that stuff not only happened, it was the norm. And you’ve got to give Mary her props for holding it all together even though her rat of a husband left her and the kids for another woman. She earns the paycheck and is a loving mom while he’s off in Mexico with “Sally” despite the fact that he “hates Mexico”. And when she reads “Peter Pan” to Gertie, it tugs at our heart strings, just as it does ET’s. We have no doubt, this is a woman who is 100% dedicated to her family. Plus, three kids later, she looks super cute in that skin-tight leopard cat outfit. MEOW!



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Author: toni

~ 04/22/09

Really, really good moms in movies who INSPIRE us to be better.

I’ll be honest with you. It being Review Day Thursday, I was gonna post a review of this amazing kick-ass workout dvd that is supposed to make your butt look “aesthetically pleasing”.  But after the mamma drama of the week (snake bites, ambulance rides, anti-venom, ICUs, mysterious sticky spots on hospital room floors) I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

I was needing something less gluteally uplifting and more SPIRITUALLY uplifting. Cuz let’s face, a firm butt is NOT the answer to everything (although it’s a darn good start).

So I decided to do a movie review for my GOOD MOMMIES IN MOVIES page. (You’ve seen it. It’s near my BAD MOMMIES IN MOVIES page.) Watching an impossibly perfect mom in action can inspire us in our quest for perfekt parenting skills. These super mommies show us how the really good moms do it, so we can try to do it too. Or at least THINK about trying. Or at least think about trying it NEXT YEAR…when that resolution time rolls around again.

Anyway, this week’s “good mommy” features AN ANIMATED SUPERHERO

HOW THE HECK ARE YOU GONNA EMULATE THAT?! you ask. Well I don’t know about you, but this week I felt a little like a superhero when I quick-fast sprung into action to help save Randy after the rattlesnake bite. And I was pretty darn animated doing it, too.  Perhaps this movie will make you feel the same. 



Is there any arguing that Helen Parr (Elastagirl) is one of the coolest movie moms ever? I mean, she can fry up the bacon AND save the world. She’s there for her kids and her husband. And she can turn herself into a parachute when the jet carrying the family blows up. Yet she’s relatable. I mean, she’s concerned about the size of her hips in that tight-fitting super hero outfit. And she wants her kids to have a normal upbringing, despite the fact that they’re anything but. And while we non-animated moms may not have the ability to bend our bodies in a million different ways, this movie reminds us about the ways we DO bend ourselves to be there for our husbands, kids and work. Let’s face it, that balancing act alone makes us superheroes. No?


NOTE: Tune in tomorrow for a special edition of our BLUNDER THEN BLENDER segment that is – how shall I put this – thematically relevant to the week’s events.

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