With its talented cast, “Otherhood” leaves viewers in the sensible shoes of a trio of moms disappointed by their children for not living up to their potential. Disappointment being an emotion that is actually warranted here. Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman play the women forgotten by their adult sons (Sinqua Walls, Jake Hoffman and Jake Lacy) on Mother’s Day, leading them to drive from Poughkeepsie down to New York City to get their young men’s attention.
Off-screen mothers will thank these characters for making even the most meddling of mom look like she has a healthy set of boundaries in comparison. Daughters and sons should call home in gratitude for the relative insignificance of their own parents’ sins. “Otherhood” does have a few genuine and genuinely funny moments — thanks largely to its stars — but they’re overshadowed by the bad behavior of both the mothers and their sons.
The script from Mark Andrus and director Cindy Chupack makes it unclear where our sympathies are supposed to lie. However, these women don’t see the consequences of their troubling treatment of their grown-up kids.
Each of the three leads has at least an Oscar nomination to her name — and a win in the case of Arquette. But watching “Otherhood” leaves audiences feeling secondhand embarrassment, not only for everyone’s cringe-worthy behavior on screen but also for these lauded actresses who both starred in and executive produced this subpar film.
Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Playing: Starts Aug. 2, Laemmle NoHo 7, North Hollywood; also available on Netflix