Helicopter Mom

"OK"

Helicopter Mom Review


While this comedy of embarrassment has some pointed things to say about growing up, and a refreshing refusal to push its central character into a box, it also continually resorts to the cheapest, most annoying gags. As a result, the intriguing premise is swamped in corny antics, forcing the actors to work overtime to keep their characters on the right side of believability. This leaves everyone on-screen feeling more than a little artificial, including the characters who manage to be engaging.

The central figure is Lloyd (Jason Dolley), a 17-year-old who hasn't yet discovered what his "thing" is. He's brainy enough to get into any university he wants, but is unsure what he wants to do with his life. And he has been so busy getting good grades that he has never explored his own sexuality. Not helping this is his over-involved mother Maggie (Nia Vardalos), who hovers around him like a police helicopter with a floodlight, meddling in every aspect of his life. Mainly she's hoping he turns out to be gay, because that will entitle him to a scholarship to pay the expensive university tuition fees. So she tries to hook him up with random young men and asks his biker-dude dad Max (Mark Boone Junior) to encourage him in that direction. But Max actually engages Lloyd in a conversation, something his mother never does.

The problem is that for all of Maggie's protestations that she loves her son, she clearly only cares about herself. And this intense selfishness makes her so loathsome that we flinch every time she appears on screen, just as Lloyd does when he notices her nearby. Vardalos underplays the role nicely, but it's not enough to make her remotely sympathetic as everything she does leaves a wake of destruction. In other words, she's more like a shallow sitcom character than a real person. By contrast, Dolley is remarkably likeable, and the film's best scenes are between him and the relaxed, open-handed Boone. And Dolley also generates a nice sense of chemistry with Skyler Samuels, as the school hottie who's tired of hanging out with bigoted jocks.

There are strong ideas in this film that just about emerge between Maggie's silly antics. Screenwriter Duke Tran takes an enlightened approach to teen sexuality, allowing Lloyd to be unsure about himself, which is a very rare thing to see on-screen. "Why does everyone have to put a label on me?" he asks. "Can't I just be undeclared?" So it's Lloyd's important personal journey that makes the film worth a look, if you can keep track of it amid his mother's chaotic interference.



Helicopter Mom

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th April 2015

Distributed by: Entertainment One

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , J.M.R. Luna, Stephen Israel

Starring: as Lloyd, as Max, as Maggie

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.