Motherhood DVD Review & Giveaway *WINNER ANNOUNCED*

With a cast of Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver and Anthony Edwards, a straight-to-DVD release for this film seemed highly unusual.  After watching Motherhood, I understood why a nationwide theatrical release wasn’t in the cards.

Motherhood, the film, is much like 24, the TV series, only with helicopter moms, status obsessed neighbors and snarky cashiers instead of bullets, burning buildings and bad guys.  It’s a funny, however exaggerated, look at hipster, trendy urban parenting in the 21-century.  Ultimately, Motherhood suffers because of the over-the-top exaggeration of the day-from-hell motif.  This everything-but-the-kitchen-sink plot lacks the believability (for anyone outside Park Slope and the Upper East & West Sides) necessary to become emotionally invested in the characters.  That the film’s tensions are resolved with monetary gains instead of personal development or enlightenment affords it no climactic gut punch.

While the Mrs. and I did generally enjoy the movie, finding humor in the sheer absurdity of some of the situations (the scene with the mini-KKK styled UV-protection suit, for example), the only parenting moment that pulled at our heartstrings happened to occur shortly after the opening credits.  As the film was still unwrapping itself, Uma Thurman’s Eliza Welch character wakes up early, snaps a photo of her still-sleeping daughter, connects the camera to a photo printer which spits out the picture, and then writes the caption “last day of being 5”.  We happened to slip this DVD into the laptop on March 1, 2010, the last day our oldest daughter spent as a 5-year old. Cue the tears.

The focus of Motherhood is on the minutia of being a mom and it’s downstream impact, not on the children themselves and not on being a mommy blogger (although that’s Eliza Welch’s primary hobby).  In fact, I was struck by just how infrequently the children were on screen during the 90-minute film.  Welch has so much going on as a mother, that her sense of self gets lost.  This is bound to resonate with anyone struggling to balance multiple tasks and/or hobbies while also trying to be an attentive parent and preserve a slice of your own identity.  We as parents have many crappy little things that must be accomplished each day to maintain order within our families, and those tiny tasks often distract us, just as they do Eliza, from what is most important.

If Motherhood the movie teaches us one thing about motherhood (and fatherhood) the occupation, it’s this:  The process of being a parent is too often rooted in the mundane trivialities of everyday life and in between it all, we struggle to remain individuals capable of passion, wit, humor and of having interests beyond the contents of a birthday party goodie bag.  Motherhood isn’t a flawless representation of what it means to be a mom or dad, but the film’s occasionally outrageous and humorous portrayal of the struggle to find and hold on to oneself with little one’s around your feet makes it entertaining enough for any parent to enjoy.

Motherhood is available through Netflix, Red Box and for purchase below.

Wanna win a Motherhood DVD for your collection?  Leave a comment here and/or tweet about this review & giveaway (please reference @OWTK so I can count your entry).  Max two entries per person, please.  Deadline for all entries is Friday, March 12 2010 @ 11:55pm ET.

**WINNER ANNOUNCED on 3/15/2010 – Madeline from Barefoot Childhood Blog!  Congrats to you and thanks to all who entered this giveaway.**

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