It’s official: Legendary director Garry Marshall has made a bunch of big pictures and he also sees the big picture… especially when it comes to women. This Friday, April 29, his latest, charming flick “Mother’s Day” opens with a star-studded cast of… well… moms. Julia Roberts plays a single career woman, Jennifer Aniston is an overextended divorced mom, Kate Hudson takes on the role of a mom who lies about her whole family (see the film to get what I’m gettin’ at here… it’s kinda funny in a totally-inappropriate way) and newcomer Britt Robertson tackles the role of a mom trying to figure out who the hell she is and what the hell she wants.
The characters in the movie are a bit of each of us, and Garry Marshall seemed to know it as the wise, seasoned leader of this motley crew when he met with a bunch of… well… us moms, thanks to The MOMS and Fujifilm instax.
We got a glimpse of the movie, wept a teensy bit, got to chat with Garry and then got our backs patted big time… in the name of being strong women. He gushed about his accomplished sister, Penny Marshall, and the ground she’s broken making movies as a woman in a male-dominated field. He fondly told stories about how he’s seen Julia [Roberts] grow into being a most magnificent, accomplished woman and mother to her children. He told the tale of how he roped in the young-and-upcoming actress Britt Robertson for her most affecting role in “Mother’s Day’ based on working with her so many years ago.
“I’ve found that [when working, filming movies] women can stay up later than men because they’re used to it, because of motherhood,” Marshall told us all. We all laughed because it’s the truth. Mothers are tough. You can’t fake a big picture like that.
A mom is a mom is a mom…. and us tough mothers are more the same than we are different. That’s what “Mother’s Day” is about in the most touching way. (I’m smiling thinking about the movie now.) Whether we’re single, married, divorced, young, middle aged, confused or simply scared of what our own mom might think about life choices…. we’re all moms and in this motherhood thing together. Good days. Bad days. In-between days. We forget this sometimes. We judge. We roll our eyes. We say we’re better at this, that and the other. Sometimes we are, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we’re all so different, and sometimes our struggles are so much the same it’s freaky and semi-disarming. And sometimes it’s wonderful.
So we keep taking pictures to remember that wonderful, even if happens to be an in-between kind of day.
When you smash together all the sporadic snapshots of kids and babies and husbands and school and games and fun and life — the people holding the big picture in place is usually US. (The moms.) We’re the ones with our fingers on the button hollering ‘”Say cheese!” (Or rather, “whiskey” if you really want to get a smile that looks authentic in a picture. Try it.)
And the more memories (and souvenirs) we can snag in this most fleeting digital age of selfies, the better.
A mom is a mom is a mom. Don’t forget it. Relish in it. Celebrate it. Stick a note (or, picture!) in your wallet to remember it. Especially when the calendar says so.
That’s the big picture.
“Mother’s Day” opens nationwide Friday, April 29. I was graciously provided a complimentary screening of the movie, Q&A with Garry Marshall and a Fujifilm instax camera for consideration of this post. All experiences and opinions are mine.