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The Perfect Movies to Watch With Mom This Mother’s Day

These films are perfect for celebrating Mother's Day!
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Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Have you made plans with mom yet? Or, perhaps you are a mom yourself, and it’s your day to do whatever you please! We found the best movies to watch with mom this Mother’s Day!

There are a lot of great ways to celebrate this special day, from gifts to trips. However, ask any mom (I’m a mom so I’m clearly an expert here) what they really want for Mother’s Day, and they’ll likely tell you the same thing: not having to cook and spending time with their kids.

A fun  – and let’s be honest, cost-effective – way to spend time with mom? Laughing, crying, and laughing some more while watching movies together.

These feel-good movies are funny, heart-warming portrayals of mother-child bonds and the importance of family. This roundup has a little of everything, for all kinds of moms and kids who want to spend some quality time together. From new movies like Turning Red to classics like The Sound of Music, you’re sure to find the perfect movie to watch this Mother’s Day.

Turning Red

Pixar’s brand new animated film Turning Red is a wonderful watch for Mother’s Day. At the center of the movie is Mei, who wants to be her mom’s perfect daughter. But she finds herself changing and rebelling against her helicopter parent’s hovering. Mei’s awkwardness (and obsession with a boy band) is entirely relatable, and the female familial relationships will certainly strike a chord.

Little Women

Little Women is an adaptation of the novel by the same name, in which four sisters are learning to make their way and live life on their own terms in the Civil War era. It’s a classic novel that most are familiar with and love. And this adaptation is star-studded, with the likes of Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Meryl Streep, and Timothée Chalamet filling the roles of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved characters.

Bad Moms

Sometimes, you just need a good laugh. It’s the best way to deal with the stresses of packing lunches, homework, and never-ending PTA meetings. For Mother’s Day, think about skipping the sappy rom-coms for Bad Moms and see what happens when overworked and under-appreciated moms ditch responsibilities for some fun. It stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Jada Pinkett Smith, Christina Applegate, and more.

Dumplin’

First of all, Dumplin’ is filled with Dolly Parton’s music, and what better way to spend Mother’s Day? This is a heartwarming coming-of-age comedy about a plus-sized teen who has a difficult relationship with her beauty pageant mother, played by Jennifer Aniston. When she signs up to compete in her mom’s pageant, it initially drives a wedge between them, but they are both surprised by the results and with each other in the end. Ginger Minj of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame makes an appearance, too.

The Sound of Music

For moms who love classic musicals, The Sound of Music is an obvious choice. Julie Andrews stars as Maria, who is sent by her convent to become a governess to a widowed naval officer’s seven children in Austria on the eve of World War II. She brings joy and music into the family, and eventually marries Captain von Trapp. Together, the family escapes Germany’s control of Austria, making their way to safety in Switzerland.

Mamma Mia!

Okay, how about a more modern musical? Mamma Mia! is a feel-good romantic comedy filled with ABBA songs and an all-star ensemble cast. Who doesn’t want to see the likes of Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth breaking out into musical numbers? Amanda Seyfried plays a young bride-to-be who is hoping to find her real father. She invites three possibilities to her wedding in hopes of learning the truth, but she did it without telling her mom, played by Meryl Streep. It’s campy fun, and you can’t help but sing along.

Because I Said So

How many times have you heard your mother say, “Because I said so”? And how many times has she tried to meddle in your love life? Diane Keaton plays that loving yet overbearing mother. Two of her daughters, Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo) are already married. The youngest daughter (Mandy Moore) just broke up with her boyfriend, though, so mom tries to intervene. It might be a little cliche, but it’s a light, easy-to-digest film that’s ideal for Mother’s Day.

Akeelah and the Bee

Telling the story of a young girl from South Los Angeles trying to make it to the National Spelling Bee, Akeelah and the Bee is a heart-warming and inspirational drama about overcoming difficult obstacles. This family-friendly film speaks to the importance of community and the power of mother-daughter relationships. Keke Palmer stars as Akeelah, while superstar Angela Bassett plays her mother.

Related: 25 Inspiring Movies About Teachers

Brave

Another animated film from Pixar, Brave is a perfect Mother’s Day watch for moms with little ones – although I have to admit that I love this movie myself as an adult. The story centers on the pull between Princess Merida’s independent spirit and the expectations of her “uptight” mother Queen Elinor, who is only trying to uphold the expectations of their royal Scottish Highlands family. They struggle to understand each other… and then Merida unintentionally turns her mom into a bear, which she can only fix if she is able to “mend the bond torn by pride.”

Troop Beverly Hills

Are you looking for something silly and nostalgic to watch on Mother’s Day? 1989’s Troop Beverly Hills follows a Beverly Hills housewife, played by Shelley Long, who decides to lead her daughter’s troop of Wilderness Girls to prove she can accomplish something. The girls aren’t taken seriously by other troops and they face having their group disbanded unless they can prove themselves at the annual jamboree. The film has picked up quite a cult following in the years since its release.

Mother’s Day

Hey, the title of this movie says it all! What better time to watch Mother’s Day than on, well, Mother’s Day? This romantic dramedy was directed by Garry Marshall, who also directed Pretty Woman and Valentine’s Day. It follows multiple people as they come to terms with their relationships with their mothers leading up to Mother’s Day. The cast includes Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Shay Mitchell, and more. It’s also narrated by the late Penny Marshall, in her last film role before her death.

Georgia Rule

Garry Marshall also directed Georgia Rule, starring Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, and Felicity Huffman. Lindsay Lohan plays Rachel, a troubled young woman sent to live with her grandmother for the summer after crossing too many lines at her mother’s home. However, she’s hiding a secret that is causing her to spiral out of control. What she knows could also potentially rip her family apart.

Related: Lindsay Lohan Is Back and Better Than Ever in Netflix Rom-Com First Look

Terms of Endearment

The 1983 dramedy Terms of Endearment is the quintessential mother-daughter movie. In it, Debra Winger plays a free spirit who just wants her mom’s approval, while legendary actress Shirley MacLaine is the intense mother who can’t let her daughter go. The film spans 30 years of the relationship between the two. Be forewarned, this one’s a tear-jerker, so definitely have the tissues ready!

Lady Bird

This movie tells the story of high school senior Christine, who has given herself the name Lady Bird. She is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants while dealing with her turbulent (and relatable) relationship with her mother. This is definitely another film that requires having tissues handy, especially for us 30-something millennials who were coming of age in the early aughts. Saoirse Ronan delivers an impressive performance as Lady Bird, while Laurie Metcalf is compelling as her mother.

Freaky Friday

A classic! Based on a children’s novel from the ‘70s, Freaky Friday has been adapted several times. But for Mother’s Day, my vote is for the 2003 installment starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. They play a mother and daughter who magically switch bodies thanks to a mysterious fortune cookie. The switch really opens their eyes to each other’s lives, helping them to understand and respect each other much more.

Postcards From the Edge

If you’ve never seen Postcards From the Edge, Mother’s Day is a great day to check it out for the first time! It’s actually based on a semi-autobiographical novel written by the one and only Carrie Fisher. Meryl Streep plays an actress in recovery trying to put her career back together. She moves back in with her mother, played by Shirley MacLaine, but she’s a competitive and self-absorbed actress herself.

Motherhood

2009’s Motherhood takes place over the course of a single day in New York’s West Village. Uma Thurman plays a new mom who takes on the simple task of planning her two-year-old’s birthday party. On the surface, this sounds simple enough, but every mom knows that couldn’t be farther from the truth! 

Mermaids

A movie starring Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci? Sign me up! Cher plays a single mother with an… unconventional parenting style that just doesn’t work for her daughters, who are embarrassed by their mother’s flamboyant nature. After wandering from place to place for a while, they finally settle in a small Massachusetts town next to a convent that changes them in different ways.