Bad touch: “Otherhood”, the Netflix movie about mothers and sons


DThe culture, as far as it can be surveyed, is sometimes quite one-sided. So we know – from a myriad of novels, movies, series – very well about adolescence, adulthood, the “Coming of age Know. Or at least could know.


But what happens on the other side – at least theoretically more affluent and now numerically superior to the youth side – what happens to fathers, with mothers, when their children first move away from the sphere of influence of their helicopters, we do not know that. At least not from novels, films and series. In this respect, there is basically nothing to say against “Otherhood”.

Cindy Chupack's Netflix movie tells the story of three mothers, age-boomers, mid-fifties, unmanned space travelers. They live an empty, well-groomed life in empty, well-kept villas, which have more empty, well-kept rooms than an average mind is able to endure. Husbands, companions in life have come and gone, the sons, all in their thirties meanwhile, are not living so far away in the big, big city that never sleeps.

Poughkeepsie is the name of the place where Carol and Helen and Gillian live their empty lives with too much bourbon, as their livers. They have known each other since their sons met. They're fine. The social work-life balance is right.

Mothers, three in New York: Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman

Mothers, three in New York: Patricia Arquette, Angela Bassett, Felicity Huffman

Source: picture alliance / courtesy Everett Collection / Netflix / Linda Kallerus

We are not here in the Lower Lusatia, but in a kind of stranded dream ship, an American parallel world to Cornwall Rosamunde Pilcher. No dust grains on the production, the whole story, all faces look as if you had applied before the turn centimeter thick cream with lotus effect, just to allow no depth and prevent deposits of reality Dreck from the outset.

It's Mother's Day. Carol, Helen and Gilliam have not heard from Daniel, Matt and Paul, their three question marks in New York, for a long time. Naturally, all Filiusse forgot Mother's Day. She sent the flowers to Carol, the mother's day hostess of the year, between bourbon and brunch, and sent her a greeting card to the best mother of all.

They exchange views. What actually happened to them, what actually comes after Motherhood? Other Hood? A new form of coming-of-age despair is breaking. The alcohol level rises.

Shallow like the Balaton

And then come the three, who, because feminism seems to have given a wide berth to Poughkeepsie, can not be without sons, come up with the idea of ​​taking the old Volvo station wagon and down from the rubble of that ancient role building that they are now buried threatens to drive into the city and helicopter once more to your heart's content. What they do then, to the dismay of their largely independent offspring with rather uncertain relationship status, to their heart's content.

As I said – in principle there is nothing to say against what Cindy Chupack, which also has some episodes of “Sex and the City”, as intended. Universal themes, telling of a long-forgotten generational conflict, the quite tailor-made orientation to a streaming target audience that is so broad that the attempt to satisfy them cinematographic, even in the public broadcasters of the old and over-aging Germany for a Schwemme has taken care of family comedies that are even shallower than Lake Balaton. “Otherhood” is Inga Lindström with other (especially financial) means.

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Of course, the Swedish Schnulzes (written by a German) have as little to do with reality as “Otherhood”. And how embarrassingly Netflix seeks to avoid a mingling of their mother fiction with the reality of supposedly meaningless parenting, can be seen from the fact that “Otherhood” with four months delay was provided for streaming.

In April, unfortunately, it came to light that Felicity Huffman, Mother Helen in “Otherhood”, had overdone it with helicopter optics in real life a bit. She considered her daughter so stupid that she thought she needed to smear the school authorities with the equivalent of 13,000 euros to get her to an elite college.

Doris Day is still missing

But that is not the problem with Cindy Chupack 's film, not even the snazzy parallel world in which he plays, and not the fundamental predictability of his dramaturgy and his humor, the flatness of his jokes, the way he constructs caricatures, the To bring life to neither Felicity Huffman nor Patricia Arquette (Gillian), nor Angela Bassett (Carol).

The problem with “Otherhood” is the silly mother picture that Cindy Chupack transports. In contrast to the whole design of the film, this is so dusty that one fears at any time, Doris Day would come around the corner and want to participate. She would hardly notice.

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