7 best Mother's Day movies to celebrate moms

Mila Kunis in Bad Moms
(Image credit: Alamy)

What film should you watch on Mother’s Day? If you’re spending May 12 with your mom, or you are a mom, the answer is simple: Whatever film the lady wants! If the holiday is one of remembrance for you now, choose a film that you know was one of your mom’s favorites. Still need inspiration? You could opt for a classic tearjerker like 1983’s “Terms of Endearment” or 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club," or something unexpected, such as 2022 Best Picture winner “Everything Everywhere All at Once." When in doubt, though, we’d go for some laughs. Here are seven mother-loving comedies you can stream today.

'Bad Moms'

It turns out, the regular moms ARE the cool moms in this riotous 2016 comedy. Facing a divorce and the fate of forever being taken advantage of by her boss and her kids, mom Amy (Mila Kunis) finally puts her own sanity first and stops saying “yes” to every demand society (and the PTA) places on her. She’s soon joined in the rebellion, first by her new polar-opposite besties, husband-pleaser Kiki (Kristen Bell) and lovably selfish single mom Carla (Kathryn Hahn), and later by other mothers who want the reign of judgmental PTA dictator Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) to end. 

One person Amy will be making more time for, however: Jessie (Jay Hernandez), a single dad who truly sees her and wants to please her. (Wink!)

Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple

'Baby Boom'

Diane Keaton earned a Golden Globe nomination portraying self-proclaimed tough, cold career woman J.C. Wiatt, who inherits a toddler, Elizabeth, from a distant relative and ends up buying a money pit in picturesque Vermont. In other words, the 1987 rom-com, co-written by genre fave Nancy Meyers and director Charles Shyer, is like the best Hallmark movie you’ve ever seen. J.C. struggles to relax, then makes it her mission to get out of the moth-eaten town. The goal becomes more attainable when her gourmet baby food idea takes off, and more complicated when her love-hate relationship with local vet Dr. Cooper (a dreamy Sam Shepard) heats up.

Watch on Tubi, Pluto TV and The Roku Channel

  • Bonus tip: Make it a double-feature with 2003’s “Something’s Gotta Give” (Netflix), another Meyer rom-com starring Keaton as a Hamptons-based playwright torn between the playboy record exec (Jack Nicholson) her daughter brings home and the younger doctor (Keanu Reeves) who treats him for a heart attack.


This one’s worth it just to watch Angela Bassett’s character, widow Carol, get a “Moonstruck”-style makeover and crash her son’s (Sinqua Walls) work party. As the 2019 R-rated comedy begins, Carol and her best friends Gillian (Patricia Arquette) and Helen (Felicity Huffman) realize they’ve all been essentially forgotten on Mother’s Day. They pile into a car and drive to New York City to storm the apartments of their respective sons: potential-squandering ladies’ man Matt (Sinqua Walls), love-challenged writer Daniel (Jake Hoffman), and gay secret-keeper Paul (Jake Lacy). 

The women are determined to figure out where their relationships with their boys went wrong, but before the end of the film, they’ll also have to confront some truths about themselves and repair their imploded friendship. The leading ladies are more than up to the challenge of drunken dancing and difficult conversations.

Watch on Netflix

'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!'

The equally infectious sequel to 2008’s jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!” tells two stories: In present day, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) prepares to open the renovated Hotel Bella Donna in memory of her late mother (Meryl Streep), which reunites her with her three dads (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgard) and Donna’s best friends (the still fabulous Christine Baranski and Julie Walters). At the same time, flashbacks unfold young Donna’s (Lily James) origin story on the Greek island and that little paternity issue. 

Standout numbers include the heartbreak-healer “Mamma Mia,” the seaworthy-spectacle “Dancing Queen,” the gloriously dramatic “Fernando” (from Cher and Andy Garcia), and the pitch-perfect for Mother’s Day “My Love, My Life” (featuring Streep’s moving return). If you’ve lost a parent, have tissues handy. 

Watch on Prime Video

'Crazy Rich Asians'

Speaking of spectacles, rom-coms don’t get more visually stunning than this 2018 blockbuster based on the novel of the same name. NYU economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), for his best friend’s wedding of the century. She doesn’t know until they arrive just how outrageously wealthy Nick’s family is, or that his mother, Eleanor (a most formidable Michelle Yeoh), had expected the sought-after bachelor to move back home by now and will never think Rachel is “enough” for him. Everything about the film feels fresh, from the setting and unapologetic opulence to the way Rachel handles herself during a bachelorette party gone “Godfather” and in her climactic Mahjong showdown with Eleanor. 

The supporting cast is also perfection, particularly Awkwafina as Rachel’s supportive pal/high-society sensei Peik Lin, Gemma Chan as Nick’s kindhearted fashionplate cousin Astrid, and Nico Santos as the self-proclaimed rainbow sheep of the family Oliver. 

Watch on Max

'The Sound of Music'

Is this Best Picture winner from 1965 beloved enough to become standard viewing for two holidays? No offense to Christmas, but Mother’s Day may be more appropriate. Aspiring nun Maria (Julie Andrews) is sent from her abbey to the home of widowed naval officer Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) to be the next governess for his seven unwelcoming children. She wins them—and their father—over with her feisty faith in play clothes and music, and the strength and empathy of her convictions.

So many of us saw this movie for the first time as children and focused on learning the list of “My Favorite Things” and the yodeling in “The Lonely Goatherd.” We desperately wanted a romantic gazebo in the backyard because of “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and “Something Good.” But watching the film as an adult, and understanding just how brave and dangerous the captain’s decision to flee Austria was for his family, you have a profound appreciation for “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and “Edelweiss.” Discuss it.

Watch on Disney Plus

'Mother of the Bride'

Recently released on Netflix, "Mother of the Bride" is a solid selection if you want a rom-com that neither of you has seen before and you suspect that mom would also enjoy seeing Benjamin Bratt naked (my mother did!). Brooke Shields stars as renowned geneticist Lana, who gets a shock when she arrives at a resort in Thailand for the hastily-planned wedding of her brand ambassador daughter Emma (Miranda Cosgrove): The groom, RJ (Sean Teale), is the son of Will (Bratt), Lana’s good-time college sweetheart who broke her heart before she met her late husband.

The former flames’ reunion involves some Grade-A comedic sexual tension, a hint of jealousy (Chad Michael Murray plays a vacationing colleague who happens to have eyes for Lana), and a fair amount of scene-stealing by Rachael Harris as Lana’s deadpan sister, Janice. Wilson Cruz and Michael McDonald also provide laughs as Will’s brother and brother-in-law. After the heartfelt resolution, stick around through the credits for a choreographed cast number that will get you in the mood for wedding season.

Watch on Netflix

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Mandi Bierly

After spending more than a decade as a reporter and writer at Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, Mandi served as an editor at Yahoo Entertainment and TV Guide Magazine. As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in The New York TimesTV Insider, Vulture, Thrillist, Billboard.com, ArchitecturalDigest.com, HBO.com, Yahoo.com, and now Tom’s Guide. She is an expert on Hallmark movies, Shark Week, and setting an alarm to watch the Olympics live.