Substance-addicted Hollywood actress Suzanne Vale is on the skids. After a spell at a detox centre her film company insists as a condition of continuing to employ her that she live with her... See full summary »
After two failed marriages, a science fiction writer (Brooks) decides coming to terms with his mom will improve his chances for a successful relationship, so he moves in with his mom (Reynolds). Written by
Director/writer/actor Albert Brooks asked Nancy Reagan (who used to act under the name Nancy Reagan) to play the part of his mother. Nancy really wanted to come out of acting retirement to play the role, but declined because she couldn't bear to be away from husband and former president Ronald Reagan, suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Also on Brooks' list of former actresses to play his mother was Doris Day, but she showed no interest in coming out of acting retirement. Brooks is an old friend of actress/writer Carrie Fisher, and he knew her famous mother (Debbie Reynolds) through her. (Debbie used to try to pair Albert and Carrie off for marriage.) Brooks was looking for a big-name actress from the past and called Fisher to see if she thought her mother would accept the role. Fisher said yes, as did Reynolds. See more »
Rob Morrow's (Jeff) hairstyle changes slightly between shots when he visits his mother; when he appears outside of the house (after storming out following an argument with his brother) his bangs are longer and 'up' whereas in the previous shots they were shorter and down on his forehead. See more »
A decent middling movie with some contrived plot and laugh lines...but warm and fun
A mildly amusing and warm movie about a middle-aged man who returns to his old house to live with his mom. A jealous and over-achieving brother gets in the way a little, to some light comedy, but mostly it's the growing awkward relationship of mother and son that makes the movie.
In a way it is Debbie Reynolds (as the mother) and not Albert Brooks (as the main son) who dominates, and lifts it up a little. She's come a long way from the breakthrough 45 years earlier of "Singin' in the Rain" and other 1950s classics, and she still has a kind of innocent warmth on screen. In fact, you expect at first she might be a monster or a manipulator, but she's oddly straight forward and exactly the therapy the son needs.
There is a lack of real conflict to the plot, however. And any butting of heads or the big twist in the story (relating to their ambitions as authors) seem contrived. An opportunity was lost (or avoided) in trying to make something gel in dramatic, human terms. But it's all in an effort for some easygoing laughs, and some irony.
Faint praise here isn't mean to quite condemn the movie, but it's true, this isn't ever going to be a great one, nor a flop. It might be attractive mostly to people who like either of the main actors.
There is a weird (and fun) re-writing of the Paul Simon song "Mrs. Robinson" (and sung by some very good Simon and Garfunkel imitators). Add that to the Alfa Romeo driven by Brooks, and there is a slight reference to "The Graduate" built in, though I'm not sure it really is meant to go very far.
But then, nothing in this movie goes very far. Just perhaps for some far enough.
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