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Bad Mother’s Handbook, The (DVD Review)

17 Aug, 2010 By: Alexandra Hammarth

Street 8/24/10
$26.98 DVD
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sexual content, language, thematic elements and some smoking.
Stars Catherine Tate, Holly Grainger, Anne Reid, Steve John Shepherd, Robert Pattinson, Steve Pemberton, Oliver Lee.

Karen always has felt she’s done the best job of being a parent. She’s raised a straight-A daughter and taken care of her aging mother.

However, when Karen discovers that her baby girl is not so innocent, and that her supposed “mother” adopted her, her life falls to pieces.

Karen’s daughter, Charlie (Holliday Grainger), always has been the pride and joy of her life, until she discovers a secret pregnancy. Once her daughter comes forward, Karen (Catherine Tate) is ashamed. But the irony is that Karen was a teen mom, too.

Karen distracts herself by trying to locate her birth mother. While Charlie faces raising the baby on her own, Karen, being the self-involved person she is, couldn’t care less and finds herself getting hammered in a pub, babbling on about what went wrong in her life.

Bad Mother’s Handbook is a fitting title. Karen’s family has endured her neglect, selfishness and day-to-day stress. It seems everyone is comfortable with Charlie’s pregnancy, even secret admirer Daniel played by a rather awkward Robert Pattinson.

What finally snaps Karen out of her bad behavior as a mom is a scene that changes the whole movie from a comedy to a heartfelt drama. This might be a parenting guide on how to do it all wrong, but in the end we learn that even the worst moms can teach us a thing or two about how to do it right.

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