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Eliza Kendall Welch (Uma Thurman), mother of, Clara, and Lucas, lives with her spouse, Avery McKendrik (Anthony Edwards), in an Manhattan apartment. Today is May 25th, Clara's 6th birthday, and she has to make arrangements for a party, as well as attend to day-to-day chores, including Blogging, and entering an online contest 'Motherhood', and looking after her invalid elderly neighbor and a dog. Things will slowly get out of hand after her car gets towed due to a film shooting; the tire on her bike gets punctured; she alienates herself from her friend, Sheila (Minnie Driver); Clara's name is misspelled on the cake; while Avery refuses to answer his cell-phone. After being assisted by a delivery man, Nikesh (Arjun Gupta), who finds her attractive, she concludes she has had enough, and decides not to return home. Written by
Grossed $100,000 in the USA in 2009 and, in its UK opening weekend, took a total of £88 - equating to about 11 tickets sold, allegedly making this the lowest grossing film ever released in the UK. See more »
[reading from her 500-word motherhood-themed article for submission to a magazine prize contest]
Motherhood is about accepting the limitations of time and energy which stretch beyond you, even though sometimes it feels they can consume you. Search for and hold on to your own true self. If you lose that, what kind of mother can you be? Things are always changing no matter how much we might want things to stay the same. You could take a picture of your kids every single day and every single day ...
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If you make the mistake of reading this movie's own description, you go into it thinking that you're going to find a light-hearted, funny account of a mother trying to pull off the ultimate birthday party. The early parts of the movie seem to reinforce this, especially the encounter with the snooty neighbour and daughter who go on and on about the fabulous birthday party they had pulled off. So, you think this is going to turn into a competition to make a better birthday party. But from that point on, any sense of fun in this movie just absolutely disappears, and never reappears. This becomes a sombre movie, that really focuses more on Eliza's disillusionment with her life, her husband, the sacrifices she had to make, etc., etc. Boo hoo. You had to sacrifice something for the sake of your children and things didn't turn out exactly the way you had hoped and dreamed they would. Well, Eliza, welcome to real life. Sometimes we sacrifice and change direction for the sake of our kids. It's called parenthood - or in Eliza's case, "Motherhood."
OK. I didn't like the overall whiny tone of the movie or of Eliza's character. Setting that distaste aside, I have two fundamental problems with this: (a) it wasn't funny or even just humorous, and (b) it wasn't really interesting. There was nothing that made this story seem like a movie should be made out of it. Eliza's car got towed. Wow. Her friend got mad at her because she broke a confidence. Gee. She lost her parking spot. Tell me it ain't so! Gripping stuff. The only thing I felt compelled to watch closely was when Eliza brought the messenger in for a drink of water. You're thinking that "something" is going to happen between the two of them. I liked the way that turned out. Beyond that, the movie's really devoid of substance.
It benefits from having basically likable leads. Uma Thurman and Anthony Edwards are fine. Not a lot of chemistry between them, and the one extended kissing scene between them in the whole movie seemed quite forced and artificial. But they're likable enough. They make it watchable; they don't make it good, though. (3/10)
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