Mother’s Day. Of our many Hallmark holidays, this is the one that's easiest to get on board with. Mothers are the unsung superheroes of this world. They raise us and they feed us. Their love is unconditional. Even the troublemaker who leaked that workprint of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" online has a mother who loves him. Probably.
So we all agree: moms rock. That doesn’t mean they’re always welcome though. You probably don’t want to bring her to the bar or to some friend’s house party. You definitely don’t want to bring her along on a date. And unless you get a thrill from squirming around in embarrassment, there are at least a few movies that are best left for occasions other than Mother’s Day. Movies like these…
Director Tom Kalin’s "Savage Grace" is all about the naughty mommy love. It is based on the true story of the highly dysfunctional Baekeland family: papa Brooks (Stephen Dillane), heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune, mama/unhappy wife Barbara (Julianne Moore) and son Antony (Eddie Redmayne), whose homosexual lifestyle is treated as a problem to be fixed. A tragic case of matricide wraps up the tale, but you and mom will both dash for the nearest exit far earlier, when Barbara and her latest boy-toy fold themselves into a three-way human love pretzel with Antony. Shudder.
Just about every red-blooded post-adolescent male in America is aware of director John McNaughton’s "Wild Things". The twist-filled thriller follows high school guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) as his life is destroyed after two students step forward and falsely cry rape. That’s all secondary though. Appreciation for "Wild Things" tends to revolve around a particularly passionate poolside encounter between the two scheming students, played by Neve Campbell and Denise Richards. Even if you can play it cool sitting next to mom as that scene unfolds, she’ll definitely notice your discomfort when you get up and walk stiffly to the bathroom afterwards.
This Joan Crawford bio-pic, directed by Frank Perry and starring Faye Dunaway, offers an up-close look at the famously controlling actress and her dysfunctional relationship with her daughter. Crawford unleashes the nasty on everyone around her throughout the film, but she reserves a special brand of evil for daughter Christina (Mara Hobel). And she hates wire hangars. The film’s outrageous campiness has actually led to some fairly amusing send-ups and parodies. Skip watching this one with mom though; you don’t want it leaving her with any dark ideas.
Director Paul Verhoeven’s "Showgirls" is flat-out hilarious. The man who gave us "Robocop" and "Starship Troopers" redirects his attention here to the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas’s exotic dancer scene. Bare skin and naughty bits are visible in abundance for roughly 75% (perhaps more) of the film's running time. You won’t last more than a half hour watching this with mom before you run from the room in shame. Unless of course you’re both laughing too hard.
I know what you’re thinking. Shmaltzy musical. Feelgood story. ABBA. Hell, the word “mamma” is right there in the title! Mamma Mia! is a prime example of family-friendly filmmaking, right? Try again. Nudity, violence, forbidden love… all of it pales in comparison to the embarrassment you’ll experience when mom starts belting out showtunes.