Most women, the lose themselves when they become mothers. Life becomes about the birthday parties, sports games and running the home. Netflix’s “Otherhood” tells a story of the sense of loss women who built their world around their children feel when those children are grown-up and leave home.
Carol Walker (Angela Bassett) is a widow. Her friends are Gillian Lieberman (Patricia Artequette) and Helen Halston (Felicity Huffman). They each have a son – Matt (Sinqua Walls), Daniel (Jake Hoffman) and Paul (Jake Lacy) who have been friends since childhood.
However, Helen is Helen is the friend who does not want to age. She does not want to become a grandma. And tweezes the grey hairs on her eyebrows. Helen is however will do she can to She divorced from Paul’s father and remarried. There isn’t much to Gillian, she is still married to Daniel’s father.
The boys are now grown-up and living in New York City. Matt is the creative director at a magazine, Daniel a successful interior designer and Paul a struggling writer.
Carol, Gillian and Helen are struggling to come to terms with the fact their sons are now adults living their lives. The women no longer feel the joy of ‘motherhood’ and now feel like ‘others’ in the lives of their sons.
But one tradition did not change. Each year on Mother’s Day, the women get together. After lamenting their woes on this particular Mother’s Day and a true confession from Carol that she’d been sending her flowers since Matt won’t call or send flowers, Helen comes up a bright idea. To show-up at their respective sons’ doorstep unannounced! They agreed that they will not return home until they can rekindle the relationship with their son? Will they succeed? What will they find? A live-in lover? A workaholic? Or a son who could really use his mother?
During the visit, emotions run high. Secrets are also revealed and truths are told. The mothers and sons learn a thing or two about themselves. The women eventually abandon their mission. And at this point, “Otherhood” does get predictable but Halston has a pleasing character transformation.
The comedy is directed by Cindy Chupack who also joins Mark Andrus in developing the screenplay. Netflix’s “Otherhood” is based on a real life problem faced by empty nesters, and a premise worth exploring. Yet, the movie was somewhat unsatisfying.
This Netflix film is based on upon the novel “Whatever Makes You Happy” by William Sutcliffe. And so in the end, “Otherhood” is a reminder that whatever your age, regardless of whether you are a mother, grandmother or widow, the decision to live life to the fullest rests squarely on your shoulders.
“Otherhood” is a flick that can be enjoyed with friends on a girls’ hangout, and it is streaming on Netflix.
Directed by: Cindy Chupack
Produced by: Jason Michael Berman, Cathy Schulman
Cast: Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette, Felicity Huffman, Jake Hoffman, Jake Lacy, Sinqua Walls, Heidi Gardner, Stephen Kunken, Damian Young, Afton Williamson, Becki Newton