Motherhood (2009) - Plot Summary Poster

(I) (2009)


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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.

  • 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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Eliza Welsh (Uma Thurman) is a full-time housewife who is about to celebrate her daughter's 6th birthday. Her husband (Anthony Edwards) is constantly busy and not at home. She has two children, Clara (Daisy Tahan) and Lucas (David and Matthew Schallipp). The first thing Eliza does when she wakes up is to take a snapshop of Clara sleeping. Then, her frantic day unravels.

    On this day, Eliza wakes Clara up and when they are about to leave for school, they realise they have forgotten Clara's schoolbag at home. Also, Eliza is annoyed that her French posh neighbour (Samantha Bee) sees her in her sleeping gown. Eliza has to dress up and take Clara her schoolbag to school. Later on, Eliza has to take Lucas and her dog out. A pedestrian (Vincent James Russo) tells her off because she hadn't picked the poo up. When she returns home, she has many problems to find an unoccupied parking slot. As the parking officer arrives, she pays some money to a rude punk to go away and let the parking slot nearest to her building free.

    Her day from hell is not over. She takes Lucas to the park. There, she talks to Sheila (Minnie Driver), her best friend, who agrees to pick Clara up from school. Sheila and Eliza decide to go shopping, because the latter is so stressed. Sheila tells Eliza some personal events related to sexual matters of her past.

    There is a film being recorded on her street, so her car is taken away to another street far away, and she can't use it as a warehouse to keep Clara's party materials. When Clara goes to pick up the birthday cake, there is a mistake in the spelling of Clara's name. She argues with the bakery shop-attendant (Jenny Kirlin), who insists that only the chef-baker can solve the problem, and he's not there at the moment. Another customer (Carol Commissiong) gets frantic because Eliza is taking too long to leave, and the assistant and fellow customer start bitching about Clara's name, saying it's a kind of spinster-lesbian name.

    She has to take everything up to her fourth-floor flat in the liftless building. There, there is a messenger who is wating for Eliza's husband to open the door. Makish (Arjun Gupta) feels pity for Eliza's exhausted and stressed-out life, so he helps to take all her stuff to her flat. They start to talk, and they dance to some music. Eliza sees herself in that ambitious young man who is waiting for his big break into writing plays with an Indian domestic atmosphere, as he describes them. Eliza realises that her ambitions have come to nothing.

    Sheila gets frantic when she discovers Eliza has told about what she had told her in confidence, and has written it all out in her blog for everybody to see. Anyway, although she's mad at her, Sheila goes to pick Clara up from school.

    Eliza keeps on organizing the party. She also tries to finish a 500-word motherhood-themed article for a magazine. She wants to win the contest, to have this article published and return to work outside of home. Suddenly, she feels she can't cope anymore, and leaves the city for New Jersey. She doesn't answer the phone when her husband calls her. When Eliza finally picks it up, she's in time to tell him what to do when Lucas swallows a toy car. Eliza makes a crazy highway turn and goes back home.

    The party happens. Her husband is understanding and loving. Eliza is forgiven by Sheila, her heavily-pregnant friend. An elderly neighbour talks about how much fun she used to have when she was younger, and Welsh loses himself a little bit and enjoys the birthday party jumping and having fun.

    Later, Eliza and her husband Welsh go up to the rooftop. There, he shows her a 24,000 dollar cheque. She's surprised about it. He's decided to sell his autographed 1st-edition Emerson book, and with this money, they will be able to pay for Lucas' schooling for two years and make some changes in her life, so that she can return to write part-time. Eliza is overjoyed, and the hint is that they're about to make love on the rooftop.

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