Mother - * * *

Mother is a rather typical Albert Brooks comedy, enhanced by the enjoyable performance of Debbie Reynolds. John Henderson (Albert Brooks) has horrible luck with women, and he traces his problems back to his relationship with his mother, Beatrice (Debbie Reynolds). He decides that if he can resolve this initial relationship problem, all the others will follow…so he moves back in with mom. However, the problem proves to be a tough nut to crack, as his mother proves to be set in her eccentric ways. If you’ve seen any of Albert Brooks previous comedies, you should know fairly well what to expect. His character offers no surprises, being nearly identical to every other one he has played. The gem of the movie is Debbie Reynolds who manages to capture both the sweetness of a mother as well as the sheer frustration of dealing with one. The movie doesn’t really begin to move until John moves back in with his mother, and languishes when she is offscreen. But when she’s around, Albert Brooks is able to tap into many comic truths. The film suffers a bit from an overly pat ending, but is entertaining nevertheless.

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