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Mother (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 24 January 1997 (USA)
2:28 | Trailer

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A neurotic, twice-divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mother to solve his personal problems.


Albert Brooks


Albert Brooks, Monica Mcgowan Johnson (as Monica Johnson)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Collins Paul Collins ... Lawyer
Laura Weekes Laura Weekes ... Karen Henderson
Albert Brooks ... John Henderson
John C. McGinley ... Carl
Debbie Reynolds ... Beatrice Henderson
Richard Assad ... TV Installer
Joey Naber ... TV Installer
Vanessa Williams ... Donna
Lisa Kudrow ... Linda
Rob Morrow ... Jeff Henderson
Isabel Glasser ... Cheryl Henderson
Danielle Quinn Danielle Quinn ... Jill Henderson
Spencer Klein Spencer Klein ... Josh Henderson
Anne Haney ... Helen
Billye Ree Wallace Billye Ree Wallace ... Alice


After two failed marriages, a science fiction writer (Brooks) decides coming to terms with his mom will improve his chances for a successful relationship, so he moves in with his mom (Reynolds). Written by JG <jmgrant@SoCA.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No Actual Mothers Were Harmed During The Making Of This Motion Picture. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

24 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Annem Annem See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$137,701, 29 December 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Since she had received no alimony from ex-husband Paul Simon, Albert Brooks asked good friend (and daughter of the movie's star Debbie Reynolds), Carrie Fisher, if she would ask her ex to give Brooks the right to use an adapted version of his famous song "Mrs. Robinson", which had originally been used in the film The Graduate (1967). Both Simon and his equally famous partner Art Garfunkel had previously refused to allow anyone to use their iconic song. For instance, in the early eighties, the duo were offered a lot of money to rework the song for a "Mr. Coffee" commercial. They refused that and all other offers. However, because of his relationship with Fisher, Simon agreed, and the song was rewritten using the name "Mrs. Henderson" instead. See more »


John is driving out of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge supposedly in the evening. However, traffic is heavy going in while outbound traffic is light, indicating that it is actually the morning commute. See more »


John Henderson: Stop. No more food. It's like FANTASIA.
See more »


References The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) See more »


Call Me Irresponsible
By Sammy Cahn & Jimmy Van Heusen
See more »

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User Reviews

A boy's best friend is his mother?
27 July 2004 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

I normally don't like Albert Brooks comedies because his humor is subtle, and sometimes, so sarcastic that it seems to me, that he tries too hard. He often comes off like a gigantic dufus who's every character, is always the over-looked, but honest and quite nice guy (see Broadcast News). Here, he is once again, the same character.

However, in watching this movie with my folks, I found it to be quite a funny little comedy about a grown man who tries to connect with his mother. Brooks plays John, a writer who is recently divorced. Suffering from writer's block, probably due to his recent 'problems,' he decides that he needs some sort of emotionally reinvigorating experience. One in which he is in search of "something," but he doesn't really know what it is. Sort of like, he'll know it when it happens.

He goes to spend some time with his widowed mother, Beatrice, played by the lovely Debbie Reynolds. They seem like exact opposites, she is timid, and somewhat flaky. He is rather pushy, and often, sarcastic. She appears more provincial; he comes off as more modern. It doesn't seem like they're related at first, because they're so different.

What might've started as a desire to find some inspriation to write by cooling off from a divorce, becomes a 360 drive to reconnect with his mother, and work out their innocuous differences in personality, outlook, humor, and so forth, until mother and son finally understand one another. This may not be clear to either intially that this will eventually be the ends to the vacation.

Rob Morrow plays John's equally annoying brother, a "mama's boy" type who frequently contacts Beatrice, trying to get her to be more modern and everything else like John does, but at the same time, not trying so hard to force it on her, and also, not trying like John to resolve anything laden in their relationship that may be troubling them. Though, it seems to be suggested that there is a slight "Oedepis Complex." But, Rob Morrow is only a subplot, and kind of an aggravating character at that. Beatrice seems so pleasant, and so well...motherly.

The strange reformations that John and his mother take on are quite amusing. The bit, for example, in the beginning when John first arrives at his mother's house, and she doesn't seem to have anything he likes to eat. Or, when they go to the mall together, and he tries to stop her from always feeling obligated to explain everything to strangers (like her son is a middle aged divorced man with writer's block). It's really cute. According to the trivia, Nancy Reagan was considered for Debbie Renynolds' role, which would've probably been played wonderfully by her. Some of things that Reynolds's (like the restaurant scene) is hilarious with the cursing and all of that as she becomes impatient with her son John's wanting to change her every moment.

Basically, the whole movie is Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds. John McGinnley and Lisa Kudrow show up for a minute role as the best friend and blind date (respectively). It might be worth watching for older audiences. I watched it with my folks, and they really seemd to enjoy it (they usually don't like Albert Brooks movies, either). It's worth a try.

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