Movie Recommendation
November 27, 2008 8:44 PM   Subscribe

What are some movies my mom might enjoy?

I'd love to hear your suggestions for dvds I can get for my mom. I'm looking for romantic comedy-esque films that we can watch together. She doesn't enjoy science fiction, violence, anything over PG-13, or anything "weird." I'm looking for pleasant girlie movies like Sweet Home Alabama, PS I Love You, You've Got Mail, and The Nanny Diaries, which was her favorite so far. She was okay with Enchanted, but I think that was as far as her "weirdness" tolerance goes.

We also like Grey's Anatomy and House, and she likes to read murder mystery novels, so if there is any chick flick out there that entails any element from those things, I'd love to hear about it! Thanks.
posted by jschu to Media & Arts (50 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, House is so much... meaner than the rest of your caveats. (I love it, of course.) Amalie? Ok, weird. How about going older with something like Fame? No movie list is complete without The Princess Bride. Clue? Jeez, this is harder than I first thought it would be, but I'll keep pondeing on it.
posted by thebrokedown at 8:59 PM on November 27, 2008

pondering it, even.
posted by thebrokedown at 8:59 PM on November 27, 2008

Runaway Bride, Erin Brockovich, Stepmom... well, pretty much anything with Julia Roberts.

Also, if you guys like Grey's Anatomy, be sure to check out the spin-off Private Practice. Not quite as good as GA, but still has all the drama, but slightly fewer medical issues.
posted by cgg at 9:02 PM on November 27, 2008

The Apartment.

Maybe a Hitchcock film like Rear Window?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:03 PM on November 27, 2008

Yes, House has some pretty dark humor, but it's pretty safe as far as the violence/sexiness level goes. We used to watch Private Practice, but then one episode my sister and I had to explain to our mom what swingers are. So no more of that. Same with Amelie-- I love it but I can already feel the awkwardness what with the "quinze" and sex shop and everything. :)
posted by jschu at 9:07 PM on November 27, 2008

Jeeves and Wooster
posted by Freedomboy at 9:12 PM on November 27, 2008

Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated, fun, funny, and even touching movies of the last few years. It's definitely in the romantic comedy chickflick mold of the others you mentioned, but I liked it much better than those. (Er.... I'm a middle aged guy.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:13 PM on November 27, 2008

Ok, what about Pennies from Heaven? Oh, oh, Adventures in Babysitting! The Thin Man movies are great and witty. Moonstruck (with Cher, a mom favorite). Romancing the Stone. Or are you wanting to stick to more modern-day stuff? This is so much easier if we can go back in time, sadly.
posted by thebrokedown at 9:16 PM on November 27, 2008

How about The Holiday? Or Bridget Jones? Or anything else with Colin Firth?--speaking of which, Love Actually? (or would the porn stand-ins cause too much awkwardness? I guess they might. But they're such shy, polite characters... is the subject what causes the problem, or the spirit in which it's portrayed?).

I assume you already have the Meg Ryan canon already.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:18 PM on November 27, 2008

I like pretty much all the movies you mentioned. Love Actually would be good since Christmas is coming up. Also The Notebook and Enchanted.
posted by cucumberfresh at 9:20 PM on November 27, 2008

Oops,my bad, you mentioned Enchanted & Meg_Murry beat me to Love Actually.
posted by cucumberfresh at 9:22 PM on November 27, 2008

I'd also like to add How to Lose a Guy in 10 days (basically any chick flick by Kate Hudson) and Failure to Launch as movies I enjoyed. Sorry for clogging your post w/ my scattered answers- I blame it on the turkey!
posted by cucumberfresh at 9:33 PM on November 27, 2008

Serendipity might be a good bet (although I wasn't personally crazy about.)

Not a romantic comedy, but a wonderful, funny, and touching true story is The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio. It's set in the 50s and 60s, and is about a wife and mother of ten kids (Julianne Moore) who enters jingle contests as a way to help support her family. I always see it on the cheap shelf at Walmart for $5 or so. Everyone I have shown it to has loved it.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:33 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

How about older movies? My mom has similar tastes as your mom, and she loves films starring Doris Day. That Touch of Mink and The Pajama Game are good ones to start with. (I love Doris Day, too, so I'm not just blindly suggesting these. She's my go-to when I need an older feel-good movie.)
posted by phatkitten at 9:40 PM on November 27, 2008

I really like Spike's suggestions, and Fuzzy's were good, as well. Here's my last suggestion for tonight: Pleasantville. Have a good time with your mom!
posted by thebrokedown at 9:45 PM on November 27, 2008

Chocolat? It has some sexual content, and a bit of a magical feel, but it's a cute, feel-good girlie movie.

I'd also recommend Waitress, and the German film Mostly Martha (or the American remake No Reservations). Relatively wholesome romantic comedies with mouth-watering food.
posted by arianell at 9:54 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Goodbye Girl, Richard Dreyfuss won his Oscar.
posted by netbros at 9:57 PM on November 27, 2008

I've always liked The Wedding Planner, with Jennifer Lopez.
posted by PinkButterfly at 10:05 PM on November 27, 2008

The Way Home. One of the sweetest, kindest films I've ever seen in my life.
posted by luriete at 10:16 PM on November 27, 2008

Shakespeare in Love
The Lady Eve
Sliding Doors
posted by coffeefilter at 10:18 PM on November 27, 2008

Shall We Dansu, the original Japanese version. Richard Gere starred in the later American-made "Shall We Dance"...but I much prefer the original. Also It Could Happen to You...--Nick Cage and Bridget Fonda. Also loved The Thin Man movies...really smart and fun...and probably cheap to buy since they're old black and whites.
posted by mumstheword at 10:36 PM on November 27, 2008

My mom had the same aversion to sex and violence and weirdness.

Some movies that we saw together that she REALLY enjoyed:

Straight Story
Anne of Green Gables (a video series, not really a movie)

FYI, these aren't romances. They center more around family relationships.
posted by marsha56 at 10:52 PM on November 27, 2008 [2 favorites]

2nding Amelie and About A Boy. Both great films that i'd watch with my folks. Amelie might be a stretch but get her to watch it. I know she'll find it rewarding, once she gets past the subtitles. Also, what about Danny Boyle's Millions?
posted by pilibeen at 10:53 PM on November 27, 2008

Bollywood puts out a lot of stuff like this. Seriously. They're weird because they're from India and contain dance scenes and are in a foreign language, but otherwise they match your description perfectly. Hum Tum is a good place to start. And the Munna Bhai series or Jab We Met.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 11:07 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

You might find some good suggestions in this similar thread. It's not specifically about romantic-comedy types, but there are a number of movies listed there that your mom may enjoy.

Also, for more good suggestions of older romantic movies, check out this thread -- not necessarily all comedic, but still worth taking a look. Since many of the older movies were released during the much more restrictive censorship of the Hays Code, they will be really tame compared to films (or TV) now (or late 1950s and beyond), generally speaking.

Some suggested there that I would second:If you haven't seen it yet, please do try The SecretDecoderRing's suggestion of "Rear Window." Yes, it's Hitchcock, and there are some edge-of-your-seat moments but it's not a horror film, and it's not a violent film (I don't really like violent movies, either) -- I would categorize it as a drama with a suspense/detective angle. Although I wouldn't say it's a "chick flick," there's some romance and your mystery-reading mother might really like it. Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter are excellent.
posted by macguffin at 11:08 PM on November 27, 2008

One word about the great Amelie: I wouldn't recommend it to someone who is easily offended by portrayals of sexuality. There is a brief, funny, but somewhat risque montage of Amelie imagining how many people in Paris are having orgasms at that very moment, accompanied by numerous clips and sounds effects. It might be enough to put some people off of the film altogether.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 11:18 PM on November 27, 2008

Anything Agatha Christie related. I've always enjoyed the Poirot and Miss Marple series.
posted by michswiss at 11:20 PM on November 27, 2008

FYI, Shakespeare in Love contains both bare breasts and what's apparently termed "graphic movement."

Perhaps a site like this one might be useful for your purposes? It's for parents to learn about the movies their kids want to watch, but you could use it in reverse?
posted by purpleclover at 11:38 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you think she could handle a foreign movie how about the Danish film Babette's Feast? Set in the 19th century, a Parisian refugee has arrived in a stuffy, remote, conservative Danish town and causes a big stir with her citified ways. She turns out to be a professional chef and she insists on preparing a sumptuous banquet for her new neighbors. They finally give in and agree but they swear they won't enjoy it.
posted by XMLicious at 12:56 AM on November 28, 2008

My mom is the same as yours. Here's some that she likes (not all are rom-coms, with some I like thrown in):

Love Actually
Maid in Manhattan
Fried Green Tomatoes
The Goodbye Girl
Waitress (has one small bit of light violence - man hits wife)
Sleepless in Seattle
It's a Wonderful Life
Say Anything
Bridget Jones's Dairy
Steel Magnolias
Notting Hill
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Home for the Holidays
About Schmidt
As Good as it Gets
Grumpy Old Men
Meet the Parents
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Sense and Sensibility
Bend it Like Beckham
The Holiday
27 Dresses
13 Going on 30
You, Me and Dupree
Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion

Does she mind quirky? The Castle is slightly quirky but if she can get past that, is a really sweet and heartwarming movie.

And finally, my mom's all time favorite - On Golden Pond.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:29 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

Pretty Woman with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 4:49 AM on November 28, 2008

These are all excellent suggestions, and one that doesn't seem to have been mentioned: Definitely, Maybe, which is made by the same people who made Love Actually. Also, if you especially like Hugh Laurie, the Jeeves and Wooster series could be a lot of fun and it is available on DVD. Bertie Wooster is a very different character than House, but Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are excellent together.
posted by katemcd at 5:17 AM on November 28, 2008

Did she ever like Nancy Drew? Despite it being targeted a little younger than her, she might like the movie that came out recently with Emma Roberts. It was charming and clean and with a mystery angle.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:18 AM on November 28, 2008

Head over Heels, Return to Me, The Family Stone, Fools Rush In, She's the Man.
posted by kattyann at 6:28 AM on November 28, 2008

Mamma Mia! (It's coming out soon on DVD.)
posted by pised at 6:57 AM on November 28, 2008

The Pixar films are pretty much all terriffic- Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Bug's Life, Toy Story & Toy Story 2, The Incredibles, and WALL-E. I think any mom would like Monsters Inc especially- the kid in it is so. darn. cute.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 8:48 AM on November 28, 2008

"Keeping the Faith" I think is wonderful and sweet.
posted by Failure31 at 9:20 AM on November 28, 2008

Lots of good suggestions here. Adding a few recent watches: Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Run, Fat Boy, Run.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:27 AM on November 28, 2008

Is she's at all squeamish about sex, the full frontal nudity and blowjob scenes in Forgetting Sarah Marshall will probably not work for her.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:56 AM on November 28, 2008

In addition to some of those mentioned above (Steel Magnolias and Beaches), my mom also loves 9 to 5.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:29 AM on November 28, 2008

Clueless and My Best Friend's Wedding.
posted by anniecat at 10:56 AM on November 28, 2008

Oh my god, no. Please read the question. What you think is no big deal (the orgasms in Amelie) sounds like it's a dealbreaker for the OP.

Not: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Jason Segal's dick — right there on screen — figures prominently into the first 5 minutes. It goes on in a similar vein from there. NB: The movie was awesome, but not for this particular question.)

Not: Pretty Woman (She's a hooker, people. I was recently watching it in mixed company and felt a little embarrassed.)

How about The Devil Wears Prada? Or go on a teen thing: Mean Girls, Ten Things I Hate About You?
posted by purpleclover at 11:47 AM on November 28, 2008

I'm pretty choosy when it comes to G or PG movies because they aren't my usual preference. These all with happy endings and mostly sweet but still really good, and I dont' think they've been mentioned so far.

The Accidental Tourist
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Gregory's Girl
North by Northwest
When Harry Met Sally
posted by tula at 11:53 AM on November 28, 2008

Also, I'd say Not: the 1981 Pennies From Heaven, it had nudity, and was rated 'R', and Not: As Good As It Gets, it had loads of swearing, aggression and one scene of pretty intense violence.
posted by tula at 12:07 PM on November 28, 2008

Echoing tula with When Harry Met Sally
Ten Things I Hate About You which is based on the Shakespearean play "Taming of the Shrew".
27 Dresses stars Katherine Heigl, from Grey's Anatomy
The Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a bit quirky, but behind the weird premise is a sweet love story.
posted by Night_owl at 1:19 PM on November 28, 2008

Oh my god, no. Please read the question. What you think is no big deal (the orgasms in Amelie) sounds like it's a dealbreaker for the OP.

Not to sound like a broken record (remember those?) but I have to agree with this.

I am very familiar with people who are easily offended by sexual content. One scene can ruin the whole movie for such a person. The fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally would be a dealbreaker. Even Breakfast at Tiffany's is probably too risque; it's about a gigolo and an "escort." No matter how sweet and human and wonderful these films end up, a certain number of people just do not want to watch those kinds of things in their movies.

My best advice is check out before showing her anything you are not familiar with. It might spoil the movies for you, but you will know exactly what the possibly objectionable content is.

As an example, Forgetting Sarah Marshall's sexual content is labeled as "extreme" by their standards.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:45 PM on November 28, 2008

The Princess Diaries
posted by jgirl at 7:54 PM on November 28, 2008

My Brilliant Career - Set in 19th century Australia with a young Judy Davis and Sam Neil.
The Gods Must Be Crazy - LOL Funny.
Sarah Plain and Tall Series - Glenn Close & Christopher Walken
Who Am I This Time? - Sweet, romantic.
posted by BoscosMom at 6:33 PM on December 3, 2008

50 First Dates and Spanglish. Also, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? is romance and drama, but probably the most "clean" of the 3.
posted by ick at 9:10 PM on December 5, 2008

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