My relationship with Uma was already one of the love/hate variety. I don't know why but she has always irked me. I want to hold her down and force her to eat a hamburger. But despite the fact that I am not a fan of her acting I have liked some of her movies. Ok, 3 I think (The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Kill Bill 1 and Kill Bill 2). Frankly the one main flaw I found with those 3 movies was her. Just her being in them. Sure she may be a great person in real life but I don't know what it is about her that just rubs me the wrong way on screen.
So anyway, my predisposed dislike of Uma should have been reason enough to skip the film Motherhood and the fact that until I accidentally found it on Netflix I had never even heard of it should have reinforced the "skip it" factors but it honestly sounded like a flick I could relate to.
Slot Summary per IMDB: In Manhattan, a mother of two preparing for her daughter's sixth birthday party has no idea of the challenges she's about to face in order to pull off the event.
As a mom I thought I may be able to relate to a movie with a title likd this but I was wrong.
I was honestly offended by Uma's character Eliza and her portrayal of what I think was intended to be a typical stay at home mom. Here I thought this was a movie that didn't glamorize motherhood nor act like it was a burden that sucked the life and intellect out of the mother but this movie did both.
Let's break it down. The movie starts off with a shot of a to do list that has many trivial tasks written in, among the list the taks of blogging was written several times. I though once again "yeah, I can relate".
Then you see Eliza waking up and shuffling around her disgustingly cluttered and dirty looking apartment, leaving one apartment where she and the family slept and going into another apartment to prepare breakfast. You later find out it's because of rent control and blah blah blah. Really? Is this the safest living situation? I realize you do what you have to do to put a roof over your families head but if you have to live like that with 2 young children get your SAHM ass a J-O-B. Or better yet make your husband (who seems to be actively unemployed) sell some of the piles of junk he has around the place. The condition of the house warrants a call to Children's Services or in the very least the EPA. I know it's not always possibly to keep a spotless house but that place to me was unacceptable.
She does however take a photo of her daughter and titles it "Clara on the last day of being 5" and I thought this was cute actually. Eliza spends a lot of time pining over her daughters birthday and how she is growing and it's almost sentimental and deludes you into thinking she is a caring and attentive mother. This however is disproved when she puts her child in a carseat without first buckling him in then moves her car. She then lites up a cigarette with her toddler in the car! (Ever hear of second hand smoke?) Then after causing a traffic jam because she doesn't want to risk losing her parking space gets out of the car, leaving her unbuckled toddler in his seat, to argue with a man several cars back because he called her a cunt. The man points out that the toddler is making a break out the window and she runs back and finally moves her car driving around the block (I don't think she ever got around to buckling him in though). I was just amazed. Scary thing is there are people in the world like her!
Also while all this is going on she finds out that morning that there is a essay contest with a prize of winning a columnist position. As a blogger she is super excited. But is stressed about when she will find time to do the writing. So she squeezes it in while at the park with her son. God forbid she forgo the sample sale with her friend, or inviting a delivery boy upstairs to dance and hang out with, in what I can only describe as inappropriate and awkward. But she finally bangs out a draft and asks her husband to edit and critique.
At some point her car gets towed and she is forced to go on foot to run her errands and try to get things ready for her daughters birthday. You live in New York. Take the bus! But it seems like that would be too easy so she schleps around running errands on a bike. (When she does go get the car it is only a few blocks away.)
Every where she goes she encounters rudeness and it becomes obvious she has ZERO coping skills. It's frustrating watching her passive aggressive meekness. It also appears that she deliberately does things the hard way. Perhaps to play the victim or damsel in distress but her weakness is disgusting and her lack of logical thought is frustrating.
When she finally does see her husband edited her essay and questioned her writting she flips out and leaves (maybe because she was trying to hard to sound like a postpartum Carey Bradshaw?). Yes, leaves. She runs away and gets to Jersey! It's only when her toddler starts choking that she turns around.
She is a walking contradiction. She appears intelligent and makes the worst decisions. She boasts of her love for her kids but is willing to leave over a bad reveiw by her husband? She constantly morns her status as a mom and the loss of identity it entails but no one told her to have kids. If you are so unhappy and so flustered with being an at home mom go to work. Hey tell your husband to do the same while your at it. Oh, and while your daughter is having her 6th birthday in your crap hole apartment don't sit in the hallway to blog!
The reason this movie pissed me off I think is because some people will look at it and judge real motherhood by it. Sure some moms are as incompetent as the main character but I like to think they are the minority.
While some of us don't get to shower until mid-afternoon when the kids go down for a nap we don't walk around in a nightgown (as Eliza did). Moms often forfeit their wants and needs for the family but we do it often out of love and less often out of obligation. I wouldn't complain I have no time to do things if I find time to shop, blog, go to play dates, hang out with delivery people and not even attempt to clean.
It actually took me over an hour to blog this post because in that time I had to answer calls, make breakfast, take out the dogs, dress D and brush her hair and teeth and when I am done with the post I will go clean so I can make a play date by 11. Like I said this movie offended me. I wished Eliza would have kept the pacifier from the promo picture in her mouth the whole time and maybe it would have been better.
Motherhood isn't a burden. It's the hardest job you will ever love but it is not a burden and if you feel it is more of a burden then a blessing you are a shitty mom. Enough said.