- 1 hr 32 min
Smother is a 2008 film that tells the story of Noah Cooper, played by Dax Shepard, who is a struggling writer that moves back home with his wife, Claire Cooper, played by Liv Tyler, and new baby to live with his overbearing mother, Marilyn Cooper, played by Diane Keaton. Marilyn is a widowed woman who is used to being in control of everything around her, and the arrival of her son and his family only exacerbates her need for control. As soon as they move in, Marilyn is instantly critical of everything from the way Claire is raising her child to the way Noah is pursuing his writing career. She offers up unsolicited advice and constantly interferes in their lives, leading to tension between everyone in the household. Noah and Claire are determined to keep the peace, but Marilyn's manipulative and intrusive behavior eventually takes a toll on their marriage. Throughout the film, Marilyn tries to seek control over every aspect of her son's life, from his writing to his marriage. Marilyn starts to interfere in Noah's writing career by secretly submitting his work to publishers and agents without his knowledge. She convinces him that she has his best interests at heart, but her actions only make life harder for him. As Noah tries to balance his writing career and personal life, Marilyn continues to make things worse by meddling, leaving Noah at a crossroads in life. Meanwhile, Claire feels isolated and ignored by her mother-in-law, who only has eyes for Noah's accomplishments. Diane Keaton's performance as an overbearing mother is brilliant and nuanced, as she tries to navigate her way through her own emotional turmoil while also trying to control her family's lives. Liv Tyler also gives an impressive performance, as she portrays Claire's frustration and loneliness from being trapped in a household where her opinions are not valued. The film portrays an accurate depiction of the relationship many people have with their parents, especially when they return home after starting their own families, and the difficulties that come with accommodating different personalities in the same household. Smother is a touching story of a family trying to navigate their way through life when their matriarch's meddling, which felt overbearing and misguided at the beginning, becomes more layered and understandable as the movie progresses. The cinematography of the movie adds to the storytelling, with rich shades of green, blue, and yellow, creating a warm familial feel to the movie, even when things are tense. The music composed by The Swell Season does an excellent job of setting the mood and adding depth to the story, driving home the film's emotional depth. The movie also deals with the themes of grief and loss, as Marilyn struggles to come to terms with the death of her husband while trying to control her family's lives. The director, Vince Di Meglio, masterfully blends humor, emotion, and drama together, creating a compelling story that hooks the viewer from the opening scene through to the end credits. In conclusion, Smother is an enjoyable and touching movie that depicts a realistic portrayal of the difficulties that arise when different personalities try and coexist within the same household. With exceptional performances by Dax Shepard, Liv Tyler, and Diane Keaton, excellent cinematography, and emotive music, Smother is a must-watch for anyone looking for a touching family drama.