Mothers and Daughters (2016)

PAUL DUDDRIDGE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB

USA, 2016, , , .  Screenplay by Paul Duddridge, based on a concept by Paul Duddridge.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , , , , .  Film Editing by .

The relationships between generations of women is explored by a stunning cast in this sappy melodrama.  has found out a hard truth about her family that has made her stop talking to her sister ; Sharon Stone is a fancy editor who is at odds with her rebellious daughter; Mira Sorvino is a newly successful bra designer who has been contacted by a notable figure from her past (the coincidence of which is one of the film’s many embarrassing false notes);  wants to be supportive of her cake designing boyfriend but resents having to ask her mother (Susan Sarandon, her real life mother) for help.  These stories are linked (but not really) by the film’s narrator, Selma Blair as a big city photographer who is derailed by news of an impending arrival.  With this caliber cast and the potential for some great sequences of delicious sentimentality, nothing should go wrong, but the truth is, very little goes right.  Dialogue that sounds like it’s been translated from a foreign language and awkward direction (which I’m blaming for the fact that so many superb actors look like they don’t know what they’re doing) is applied to a plot that underestimates the emotional intelligence of its audience so much that most of it is unintentionally funny.  When it even bothers to make sense, that is, which other than a couple of strong conversations (Sarandon is the only one who doesn’t fully humiliate herself), it often does not (the grandmother’s letter is high school level plot writing, heck even the film’s understanding of how a talk show works fails to pass the test).  Just dreadful.

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