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Movies and Motherhood

September 15, 2002

I feel the same way about the current crop of films portraying mothers as I do about pornos: I wish that just once the story could be told from the other perspective ("Dear Old Mom? Hardly," by Michele Willens, Sept. 8).

Although I feel heartened that mothers are no longer portrayed as ineffective, benign angels and have become full human beings with all of a mortal's insufferable traits, we're not getting the whole story. It's only the kids' point of view we're being fed.

I yearn for a movie that tells the story of what can turn a mother into a harridan. Raising kids in the current American culture is probably one of the greatest challenges womankind has ever faced.

Unless a parent shouts loudly and passionately, her voice urging her progeny to explore literature or art or classical music will be drowned out by the incessant drumbeat of the popular culture that pounds on her kids day and night, telling them that sex is the greatest good and that they too can be pop stars if only they drink the right soft drink. The only alternative a parent has is to isolate her kids, but just think what criticism that would bring.

I know that I'm only pipe dreaming and that the movie I long for will never be made. Just as women are not the target demographic for pornography, we older, battle-scarred moms aren't the ones lining up at the movie houses on Saturday night. I guess I'll just have to stick to books and the occasional foreign film.

VICTORIA THOMPSON

Sherman Oaks

*

I'd like to thank Michele Willens for saving me the price of admission to "Igby Goes Down." I no longer feel the need to see this movie since Willens revealed the ending in the first sentence of her story about actresses and their roles as mothers.

Nice work.

ROB LEICHTER

Los Angeles

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