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Top 5 Unwatchable Movies for Moms

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Motherhood changes everything, including what movies we can sit through without losing it.

Remember the days when you could spend hours of your free time watching movies? Neither do we. But now, as moms, when we actually do have time, some classic movies are just too gut-wrenching for us to stand. Says one mom, "Now that I have kids, I can't watch ANYTHING with violence against children, kids being sick, kids being sad, abused, neglected ... NOTHING!" We're right there with her. Here are five movies that moms should avoid at all costs:

kramer vs kramer Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) 
This thoughtful study of a dad who is forced to become the primary caregiver of his 7-year-old son after his wife leaves them demands a box of tissues even if you don't have kids. But as moms, the idea that Meryl Streep just walks out and leaves her child for 18 months is beyond heartbreaking.
Terms of Endearment (1983)
Before kids, we praised this tearjerker for the great acting. Now, we watch in an inconsolable crumpled heap as Debra Winger's character, stricken with cancer, says goodbye to her two sons. It's enough to make you want to grab onto your kids and never let go.
sophies choice Sophie's Choice (1982)
Meryl Streep's at it again, this time as Sophie, forced by a Nazi to choose life for one child, and death for another. No matter how strong of a person you think you are, you cannot handle the scene where the Nazi guard carts her screaming child off to certain death.
mommy dearest Mommie Dearest (1981)
This campy movie loses its luster after you have children. Who can bear watching poor Christina yanked out of bed in the middle of night by her abusive mother and forced to scrub the bathroom floor? No wire hangers? We say no Mommy Dearest!
oliver Oliver! (1968)
Yeah, we know this one is a musical. But despite the upbeat Consider Yourself number, the movie contains little malnourished orphan boys living in the squalor of a turn-of-the-century workhouse. And don't even get us started on the Roman Polanski remake.

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6 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kevin T. June 25, 2008, 4:21 PM

I’m the father of a five-month-old girl and I just finished directing a play about a mother and father grieving over the loss of a young daughter. One mother declined to direct an earlier production of the play because of the emotional aspect of the subject matter. The first actress I offered a role to is the mother of a two-year-old daughter and refused to have anything to do with the show. The woman who took the part is the mother of two young boys and had such trouble with the it that she never could fully memorize her lines. But (not surprisingly?) the men who have been involved in the script didn’t have nearly as much of a problem dealing with the sensitive nature of the play.

Treece June 25, 2008, 4:26 PM

Before I even saw this list, I knew that Sophie’s Choice would be on it. I can’t even think about that movie without losing it. Oliver breaks my heart, but it’s still among my favorite movies and I can watch it over and over again.

michellew June 25, 2008, 4:50 PM

The movie Sophie’s Choice should be outlawed material for maternal viewing. Seriously, it pains me to even think about that movie. Look, I am tearing up just writing about it. Terms of Endearment is another great choice. I can’t imagine her pain. But, Sophie’s Choice might be the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen. I have chills now.

simone June 25, 2008, 5:16 PM

oh…i forgot to mention that the show baby borrowers premieres tonight june 25th at 9pm on nbc for those of you who want to watch it…it’s a great show for moms like us…i highly recommend it…to learn about parenting…:)

Michelle December 25, 2008, 9:32 PM

I knew sophies choice would be here.So so sad…. Its to sad.

Anonymous September 28, 2009, 8:33 PM

ya forgot gone baby gone, scarred me 4 life that movie!!!

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