Watch Stage Mother
- 1 hr 33 min
Stage Mother is a 2020 comedy-drama directed by Thom Fitzgerald, which follows the story of Maybelline Metcalf (Jacki Weaver), a conservative Texan choir director, who inherits a San Francisco drag bar after the death of her estranged son, Ricky. As she journeys to the city, she discovers how much her sonâs life differed from hers, and decides to keep the bar open, much to the chagrin of her son's former partner, Nathan (Adrian Grenier).
After arriving in San Francisco, Maybelline discovers that Ricky wasn't simply a bar owner but was a beloved drag queen, whose death has left a gaping hole in the local LGBTQ+ community. The bar he left to his mother, The Black Sheep, is a haven for the city's queer community, run by Nathan. Nathan is shocked when Maybelline arrives and tells him she's there to stay and keep the bar open.
Maybelline quickly finds herself at odds with Nathan, who is angry that she seems to dismiss everything Ricky stood for. She initially struggles to accept the differences between her son's lifestyle and her own, but gradually learns to embrace the community Ricky was a part of. Despite Nathan's reservations, Maybelline takes on the role of the drag barâs new owner and works tirelessly to reinvigorate it, putting on a successful drag show for the first time in months.
However, Maybellineâs conservative upbringing causes her to initially clash with the flamboyant drag queens who perform at the bar, such as Sienna (Lucy Liu), a transgender singer, and Autumn (Mya Taylor), a sex worker. Maybelline starts to earn the respect of the queens and others in the community, but when her closed-minded attitudes cause a public feud between Sienna and her conservative mother, it threatens to derail everything Maybelline has worked so hard to accomplish and cause her to lose the newfound relationships sheâs made within the community.
As Maybelline navigates the unpredictable world of drag, she has to learn to confront her prejudices and grapple with the new challenges her son's life has left her with. Learning and adapting as she goes, Maybelline eventually gains the confidence to stand up for what is right and defend the community that meant so much to her son.
The performances in Stage Mother are outstanding, especially Jacki Weaver, who is fantastic in the lead role. Weaver is truly one of the best character actresses working today, and she is fully committed to the role, showing both humor and vulnerability in different scenes. Lucy Liu is also impressive, giving a nuanced performance as a complicated transgender singer who has been estranged from her mother for years. Adrian Grenier brings his natural charm to the role of Nathan, a man who is still grieving for his loss while trying to hold onto the bar he and Ricky built together.
At its heart, Stage Mother is a story about love, acceptance and understanding, and about how sometimes the things we least expect can bring us together. More than anything else, it's a warm and engaging movie that will leave audiences feeling uplifted and inspired. It's a perfect film for anyone who has ever felt different or isolated, as it celebrates the power of community to bring people together and the importance of being true to oneself.
Stage Mother is a 2020 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 33 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 41.