OTHERHOOD. Directed by Cindy Chupack with Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Arquette, Jake Hoffman, Sinqua Walls and Jake Lacy. Netflix.
KAREN RUTTER reviews
Just like another recently-released Netflix movie, Wine Country, which has great female leads and is touted as a kind of gal-bonding film, Otherhood has a decent line-up and a sisterhoody kind of feel. But, unfortunately, both productions fail to make a major splash. They’re fine, and they’re funny – but they’re not OMG-amazing.
Otherhood kicks off when longtime friends Carol (Angela Bassett), Gillian (Patricia Arquette) and Helen (Felicity Huffman) get pissed off because their respective sons haven’t sent flowers or done anything special about to celebrate Mother’s Day. The semi-grown-up boys are based in New York, so the mums decide to leave their comfy suburban enclave and go couch surfing in their boys’ ‘hood.
The obligatory road trip sequence takes place, with the obligatory “awkward surprise” arrival in the Big Apple. And then it’s time for the women to try and bond with their boys. In the process they discover a whole lot about themselves that they hadn’t bargained for.
Shopping and comfort food
Carol has become removed from her son, after the death of her husband, and they barely know how to relate. Gillian is bossy and overbearing, and has basically turned her boy into a neurotic mess. And Helen has basically been estranged from her gay son, who is hiding a rather large secret from her.
There’re some amusing sequences, and some predictable ones, like when the women overdo things and their sons have to reprimand them. The women bond over things like shopping and eating comfort food, and slowly get to realise that they need to change certain things in their own lives before expecting unquestioning devotion from their children
Meanwhile, the boys strangely don’t seem to have much in common, despite supposedly being friends since childhood.
I do like all three women actors, and there’s nothing wrong with the overall sentiments of the movie. It just feels undercooked, and a little bland, and a lot predictable. Okay if you’re looking for average and easy, but not if you want challenging.