"Monster-in-Law" inspires two weeklies to expound upon cinematic motherhood. In the Village Voice, Jessica Winter plays compare/contrast between Jane Fonda‘s campy return to the big screen and Isabelle Huppert‘s depraved Gallic variation on the theme in "Ma MÃ¨re," in which she plays a widow who introduces her son (played by the eye-candyish Louis Garrel of "The Dreamers") to her world of debauched upper-class sexuality.
Back to "Monster-in-Law": "If the screening I attended is anything to go by, this is a gay menâ€™s movie whose primary function is to doll Fonda up like a drag queen and let her rip," say Ella Taylor at the LA Weekly. She goes on to argue that:
Though hardly flattering, itâ€™s the most affectionate and forgiving celluloid portrait of a mom Iâ€™ve seen since Albert Brooksâ€™ far superior "Mother." Even a cursory rummage through recent American cinema feels like a ride through a maternal hell peopled with timid, neurotic, controlling or critically absent mother figures.
She follows with a brutal list of recent mothers on film, concluding that movie moms are either gorgons and saints. Or dead. Or incest-prone, apparently.