Albert Brooks is the poor man's Woody Allen. While Allen has settled comfortably into focusing on the same neuroses time and time again, Brooks scrambles to find a new, fresh neurosis for each of his films. This kind of makes Brooks the second-string pooper-scooper of the Hollywood zoo: Since Woody has staked out prime position under the elephant's ass, Brooks is left to clean up after the rest of the animals.
Filing for his second divorce causes science fiction writer John Henderson (Brooks) to reexamine his life. What he finds is that all his trouble with women started with his mother, Beatrice (Debbie Reynolds). To find out what went wrong, John returns to his childhood home and attempts to conduct his own little therapy session with Mom.
This whole therapy, self-examination thing is one of those typical baby-boomer ideas that Brooks hopes will suck people his age into seeing this film. It's not only evident through Brooks' character, but through the direction itself, that Henderson/Brooks couldn't give a crap about Mom. This is a movie about the Me generation: Mom could fall down a well for all we care, just as long as I solve my problems.
This is why Debbie Reynolds' character is so damn stupid. She has nary an ounce of dignity and it's disgusting. If she's funny, it's only because she's a dope and because she radiates motherly clichés like something out of a bad comic strip. After all, this film is really about Albert, and when you have an ego the size of your pot belly, it's better to not let reality get in the way.
To spread the word about this Mother review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.