The new comedy “Otherhood” stars three actresses that are very unique and have experienced different career paths. However, the three, Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman converge in the film starring as mothers who feel their adult sons have abandoned them. The three mothers, Carol (Bassett), Gillian (Arquette) and Helen (Hoffman) first met years ago when their sons were childhood friends, and the three have remained close friends over the years. Their sons however, seem to have drifted away from their moms and this point is further driven home when Mother’s Day arrives, and the response of the sons is tepid at best. The three friends decide to take matters into their own hands and drive to New York City, where are three sons conveniently live. At first the three are worried their sons may not be that happy to see them arrive unexpected, and while Carol makes inside her son Matt’s (Sinqua Walls) extremely nice apartment, Gillian and Helen check into a hotel in anticipation of meeting up with their sons. Carol discovers her son has been living quite the nice life, but seems to be lacking in several areas of his life. Meanwhile, Gillian finally is able to find her son Daniel (Jake Hoffman) at home in his scary basement apartment, and learns he has experienced a horrible break-up with his girlfriend that has resulted in a bout of depression. In the meantime, Helen is able to make it into the nice brownstone house of her son Paul (Jake Lacy) who has several roommates and secrets she discovers upon her arrival. The sons have various reactions of the unexpected arrival of their mothers, and seem anxious for them to visit briefly and then move along. The moms have other ideas however, and plan to help their sons realize how much they love them and only have the best intentions. All the mother’s are a bit judgemental toward their sons new lives, but begin to realize not only do the sons need a bit of shaking up, but they made need to reevaluate their own lives. Thus, the journey to NYC for what they intended to be the betterment of the sons, turns out to be a journey to self-discovery for all. Of course the journey to enlightenment is filled with pratfalls for all involved, which provides plenty of lighthearted comedic moments. In other words, the trio experience a Mother’s Day holiday they will never forget. Director Cindy Chupack, know for directing episodes of various television shows, including “Modern Family”, brings a no-nonsense feel to the film, and the characters are kept grounded despite the fact they could have easily been presented over-the-top. The actors are all fine, and have a wonderful chemistry. The ladies even seem to appear they enjoy working with each other. I have always been impressed with the acting skills of Bassett (“Black Panther”) who is so good she never appears to be “acting”. As for Arquette (“Boyhood”) she comes off in the film as someone you would love to hang out with due to the down-to-earth ease of her acting. Huffman, who has often toiled in the shadow of her successful actor husband, William H. Macy, portrays the stiff but well meaning Helen with an often heartbreaking result. With all the actors involved, “Otherhood” is a fascinating peek into the lives of three moms who come to realize the person who most needs to change is oneself.
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