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Review: These ‘Mothers and Daughters’ need to lighten up

Sharon Stone, left, and Alexandra Daniels in "Mothers and Daughters."
(Screen Media)

This year, Mother’s Day has become the hot cinematic holiday, with Garry Marshall’s “Mother’s Day” and Lorene Scafaria’s “The Meddler” vying for the post-brunch attention of audiences. Another entry makes its way into the mix, “Mothers and Daughters,” from writer Paige Cameron and director Paul Durridge.

It’s a sort of dramatic take on “Mother’s Day,” a star-studded omnibus film about the coincidentally connected lives of families. Though Marshall’s film takes the comedic angle (to mixed results), and “The Meddler” approaches the topic with a sweet, gentle ribbing at mom, “Mothers and Daughters” goes right for the hard stuff, tackling adoption, abortion, cancer, teen pregnancy and bankruptcy.

The stories are loosely connected through the large loft building where the characters live. There’s rock photographer Rigby (Selma Blair), who recently found herself pregnant, and serves as the narrator; battle-ax fashion editor Nina (Sharon Stone), with a college-age daughter Layla (Alexandra Daniels) searching for autonomy. Bra designer Georgina (Mira Sorvino) is reckoning with her own past, while a death in the family has rocked the world of sisters Becca (Christina Ricci) and Beth (Courtney Cox). Young couple Gayle (Eva Amurri Martino) and Kevin (Paul Wesley) are struggling to get their pastry business off the ground, and mend the relationship with her mother (Martino’s real-life mom, “The Meddler’s” Susan Sarandon).

The emotions about the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters are spot on, and there’s no shortage of star power. But there’s an insistently dour fog over the proceedings, and the film feels subdued and sedated without the levity to brighten up things.

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“Mothers and Daughters”

Not rated.

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

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Playing: Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills


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