Starring: Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, Ricki Lake
Director: John Waters
Running Time: 94 mins
Serial Mom is an American film about a supposedly normal, caring mother whose extreme love for her family leads her to take things a bit too far when looking after them.
This is neither a thrilling nor funny black comedy. It’s filled with mediocre writing and performances that have very little impact on you at any point throughout, whilst it burns out its initially intriguing premise very quickly, making for a largely dull watch.
The whole thing is about a woman who goes around killing people for doing wrong to her family, even for the most menial things, and upon first sight, it is pretty scary, and also quite funny to see how excessive her ‘care’ for her family is.
However, the entire film revolves around this one concept, and after about fifteen minutes, you begin to realise that it just isn’t going anywhere with either the main character or the plot in general, leaving you likely very bored by the half an hour mark, and despite slight twists in the plot later on, there’s nothing dramatic or entertaining enough to ever re-engage your interest.
The main character is also not at all interesting. With a pretty average performance by Kathleen Turner, it’s the way in which she is presented that is most irritating, because it’s a vague presentation of a woman who is either insane, dreaming, caring, or self-obsessed, and the fact that that confusion of identity is sustained throughout is nothing more than annoying and uninteresting.
In terms of the comedic value of this film, it’s also pretty poor. It attempts to make laughs mainly through shock value, with pretty violent imagery on screen and having a seemingly normal housewife on a killing rampage, but, like the main concept, that wears thin very quickly, meaning there are effectively no laughs to be had at any point throughout.
Overall, this gets a 5.3, because despite having an initially dark, intriguing and potentially entertaining concept, this film loses its way very quickly and turns into an incredibly dull and irritating black comedy.