My Other Mother – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

With a young woman knowing for decades she was adopted, she decides to finally take the time to meet her parents.

Review (with Spoilers)

To be quite honest, I was a bit hesitant to watch this since the movie premiered on a religious station and, to put it softly, I don’t find programs or movies with strong religious themes to my taste. However, the synopsis seemed good, I haven’t seen most of the actors in anything for a while, and because of that, I gave the film a chance. Now, whether I ended up regretting that decision, well look below.

Characters & Story

Candy (Essence Atkins) is a morning talk show host who has a bit of an attitude off camera. Well, at least toward those she works with or those who work under her. However, when it comes to her mother Evelyn (Jasmine Guy), her dad, and sister Charmaine (Nicky Buggs), she is an utter sweetheart. That is until she brings up the fact she wants to meet her birth parents. Something which rattles her foster family, but doesn’t impede Candy from eventually meeting her uncle Abner (Greg A. Williams), her father’s family, and also her mother Mary Jo (Lynn Whitfield). The one person able to provide her the truth as to why she was given up.

Praise

What I liked most about the film is the premise of someone learning about where they came from and understand the complicated reasons behind being given up. After all, at least to my film knowledge, it isn’t a hugely explored topic. So the idea of someone meeting their birth parents; learning about their background, and dealing with how it clashes with your upbringing clashing; and the many facets to rediscovering who you are, that I found to be one of the biggest draws to the movie, as well as what kept me watching.

Criticism

Unfortunately, though, the film never really did go past being a good concept or idea. For between the writing and acting, you can see why this movie didn’t come out in theaters. First off, as difficult as all these situations sound on paper, as well as when imagined, there is such a lack of depth when it comes to this film and a lot of ground is not covered. Take for example the culture clash between the upper middle class upbringing of Candy to the life Mary Jo lives; the topic of how Mary Jo getting pregnant being rushed through, and us not getting to know Delores’ (Angie Stone) side to the story; Evelyn’s issues with possibly losing her baby, to Candy’s birth mom, not being explored; much less the issues we are told Mary Jo has not being gone into.

All of that, and more makes this film so frustrating to watch. Especially since you can see so many good storylines. However, between overacting, and a story which seems self-constrained, all the potential is wasted.

Overall: Skip It

I don’t know whether the station had the script diluted, or perhaps the original intent of the film wasn’t to go too deep into the various issues of the characters, but either way I find this film disappointing. Now, as for why this is labeled “Skip It,” that is due to not one actor compensating for any of the issues in the movie. There isn’t a character who is a comic relief, has a good dramatic performance, or anything to really make them a beacon of hope. So without any real draw, besides ideas I hope someone steals and does better, I find this film to be worthy to be amongst the various films in the “Skip It” pile.

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