Mom, Dad, and Her


If you're not familiar with the brilliant Melora Hardin, who played Jan on "The Office" (the clip above doesn't do the character justice, but will have to do), I'm not sure why you'd watch the Lifetime movie "Mom, Dad, and Her."

It wouldn't be for Paul McGillion, who plays the typical Lifetime Bland Dad™, or for teen actress Brittney Wilson, whose carefully crafted imdb bio (that touts her "Leo nominations" and role opposite Tom Arnold) is so obviously written by her agent that I was almost surprised it didn't say, "She could have hit it big if not for that bitch Emily VanCamp" before the line about her currently "working towards a recording career."

I've already voiced my grievances with underage and out of control Lifetime movies, and "Mom, Dad, and Her" has the additional annoying element of having no real plot until halfway through the movie, when the bad-news boyfriend shows up. Brittney does the "I hate you!!"/storm into house, but it's really the boyfriend's askance trucker hat that stole our attention in this scene. It's completely logoless. If a hipster is without something to state ironically through his accessories, my boyfriend and I wondered, is he still a hipster? Unfortunately, "Zach" isn't around long enough for us to find out.

Meanwhile in "Mom, Dad, and Her," Melora Hardin (the "Her" of the title) has been proving to be the bestest pregnant stepmom a girl could ask for. As Brittney smokes in the house, breaks flowerpots, and scribbles on the wallpaper, Her seeks advice from her diner-owning Native American friend with dangly earrings and tries to keep her cool. Finally, trust is earned, and Her lets Brittney go to a John Mayer concert as long as there are no boys going. But what Her doesn't realize is that--boys or no--Brittney's friends are total sluts! They take Brittney to "the Zebra," and the vodka sodas start flowin'.

When Brittney runs out of the club and calls her stepmom for help, I began to suspect that this was really a Hallmark movie, on LMN by mistake. It only gets goopier when Brittney's parents, heretofore been having boring arguments throughout the entire movie, decide to have a lakeside "divorce ceremony" where they recite "You are the mother/father of my child. For this I will always have you in my heart" to each other. (Her comes along and snaps photos of the occasion, and somehow doesn't get smacked in the face by Mom.)

What's really wrong with "Mom, Dad, and Her" isn't that it sends the cheery message that teenagers are going to like just because you are willing to listen to them, or even that Melora Hardin doesn't get a chance to be funny even once during the movie. What's wrong with it is that there isn't a zany labor scene! Her is pregnant the entire movie, and at one point even has a contraction pain. But the movie doesn't end with her going into labor and her new BFF/stepdaughter driving her to the hospital! Instead, right after the "divorce ceremony," they show a photograph of Dad, Her, Brittney, and a baby; and then the screen fades to black and displays some statistics about divorce!

I'd like to think that this starling--and indeed, rather disappointing--oversight was just lack of funds to pay for a hospital set, and not lack of imagination on the writers' part. I mean, this movie was written by four people. None of them thought to do a zany labor scene? If so, then their movie really doesn't deserve to be on the LMN.



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