This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Love And Hate: Mothers And Daughters Captured On Film

Over the years, my mother and I haven't always seen eye-to-eye. There are things we'll never understand about one another. There are things she does that drive me insane. Sometimes I recognize things that I do just like her and it scares the crap out of me. We've had our spats. There were times I wanted to run away. Growing up. Resentments. Expectations. Guilt. Celebrations. Graduations. Parting ways. Intersecting Again. Love. Family.

The egg timer, ticking like a metronome, didn't lie. My mother always set it for 30 minutes when I was supposed to be practicing the piano. I can still hear her voice emanating from the kitchen: "I don't hear you practicing!" Then, I'd play a little and try to cheat, make time go in fast-forward. Time doesn't go in fast-forward when you want it to. Fingers plunking piano keys... 30 minutes.

Decorating birthday cupcakes with M&Ms and homemade chocolate frosting. Mom with the video camera. Licking the bowl. Getting flour absolutely everywhere. No one stopping me.

My mother, standing there aghast, missing her front tooth. The porcelain veneer cap had popped off and slid down the sink. She was getting ready to go out. I was standing over her, laughing. It was wrong, I know. I couldn't control myself.

She, in turn, would chide me about not cleaning the sink in my dorm room. Toothpaste scum, make-up remnants. A week later, I'd receive an envelope containing a ziploc bag filled with Comet cleanser. A subtle hint. Mint-green powder sprinkled all the way through the U.S. Postal Service.
For mothers and daughters, all these little moments add up to create one of the most important (and yet potentially volatile) relationships we will ever have.

As another Mother's Day approaches, I was thinking about movies that have featured mother-daughter relationships in one way or another. Naturally, films about mothers and daughters highlight the explosive nature of this most important relationship. Conflict is drama. And mothers and daughters are very good at being dramatic. We have love and respect for each other, even during the times we hate each other. We're not best friends, nor should we be, but we're in this life together.

Movies That Contain Elements of Mother-Daughter Relationships

* Anywhere But Here (1999, Susan Sarandon/Natalie Portman)
Based on the novel by Mona Simpson.

*The Virgin Suicides (1999, Kathleen Turner/Kirsten Dunst)
Based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides.

*Terms Of Endearment (1983, Shirley Maclaine, Debra Winger)
Based on the novel by Larry McMurty.

*Welcome To The Rileys (2010, James Gandolfini, Melissa Leo, Kristen Stewart)
Technically, Allison isn't a biological daughter to the Riley's, but their discovery of her [and the subsequent relationship they have with her] mirrors many parental relationships which is why I'm including it here. Plus, it's an underrated film that deserves more attention.

*Steel Magnolias (1989, Shirley Maclaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Julia Roberts)

*Mildred Pierce (1945, Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth)

*Mommie Dearest (1981, Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid)

*Mother And Child (2009, Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington)

*One True Thing (1998, Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger)

*Smooth Talk (1985, Laura Dern, Mary Kay Place)
Also known as "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been", based on the short story by Joyce Carol Oates.
*Thirteen (2003, Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter)

*The Kids Are All Right (2010, Annette Bening, Julianne Moore)

If you enjoy any moment in your lifetime, even if it's only one moment, you have your mother to thank.

My mother is older now. We both are. Time doesn't go in fast-forward when you want it to. Time goes in fast-forward when you're not looking...

©2011 by KLiedle
Selected photos from


  1. Black Swan needs to go on that list somewhere- one of the most unsettling Mother/daughter relationships- competition, obsession- freaky!