Films to watch for Mother’s Day

If you are planning a low-key celebration with the mother figure in your life, here are a selection of films for you to watch together and reflect on your bond. Here are David Ho‘s recommendations

J.Lo and Lucy Paez at the premiere of The Mother. Photo: IMDB

The Mother

Jennifer Lopez stars as a former US army operative who teams up with an FBI agent to rescue her teenage daughter after she is kidnapped by criminals. Though we best know Lopez for her rom-com roles (and more recently, overblown self-produced documentaries), Jenny From the Block brings it her all to this action thriller. Released on Mother’s Day last year, this film has now become one of Netflix’s most watched movies of all time.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Despite all the zaniness that goes on in this fast paced genre bending film, the heart of this story is about familial bonds. The cast’s award winning performances rise above the chaos of the multiverse setting to show how love transcends the weird, wonderful and even the mundane. Its depiction of queer erasure and acceptance in an Asian familial context is also nuanced and refreshing.

Freaky Friday

More than 20 years later, Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis’ film adaptation of the 1972 novel of the same name has stood the test of time and proven to be the most popular by far. With Lohan’s confirmation of a sequel in the works, it has all excited and revisiting this beloved comedic classic about putting yourself in the shoes of a loved one, literally.

The Joy Luck Club

Based on Amy Tan’s 1989 bestselling novel, the film centres on the lives of four mother-daughter pairs. When one of the mothers die, her daughter takes her place at the mahjong table for this little gathering of immigrant Chinese women known as the Joy Luck Luck Club. The film delves into the life of each woman and shows how things like generational trauma and love can last beyond time, borders, economic class, cultural barriers, and identity struggles.


Sometimes we are just in the mood for something animated and light hearted. While Disney Princesses are infamous for not having mother figures, Encanto switches things up by featuring three generations under one enchanted roof. Filled with great sing-along tunes (“Surface Pressure” is our pick, though “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” gets all the love) and a host of colourful characters, this film is a modern Disney classic and feels like a telenovela about the Madrigal family.

Mommie Dearest

This 1981 cult classic is adapted from Christina Crawford’s 1978 autobiography of the same name, which details her life as the adoptive daughter of movie star Joan Crawford. Faye Dunaway’s turn as Joan Crawford is at once terrifying, campy, and instantly iconic. The over-the-top performances and quotable lines make this a must-see and should make you grateful for the mother figure in your life.

Also see: Experiences to treat mum and yourself to on Mother’s Day

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