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Momma's Man 2008
Description: In Momma's Boy an adult decides to escape the pressures of life and return to his old bedroom at his parents' house. An odd premise, but executed with skill and tenderness.
Released: 08 May 2009 Director: Azazel Jacobs Writers: Azazel Jacobs Actors: Matt Boren, Flo Jacobs, Ken Jacobs, Dana Varon Genres: Comedy, Drama
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Momma's Man Reviews:

Living away from parents, having a job, a wife, and kids are ingredients that recommend maturity but do not guarantee it. Mikey (Matt Boren), a recently married boy in his thirties, comes from California to visit his parents in Fresh York and falls into a psychological paralysis that keeps him from accepting the reality of his adult life. Shot in the current loft on Chambers Road in which he grew up, native Fresh York director Azazel Jacobs' extraordinary Momma's Boy zeroes in on our inability to allow go, finished the past, and transport on. While his wife Laura (Dana Varon) and their infant daughter wait for him in California, Mikey returns from the airport to his parent's home, invents a storyline that the flight was canceled because of mechanical problems, and stays and stays. Ignoring his wife's urgent smartphone messages, he convinces himself that it is okay to stay for a while.Jacobs, the son of experimental movie director Ken Jacobs, has created a hero in Mikey who has obvious issues yet whose sweetness reaches out to us even if we do not totally understand the source of his aberration or even trust that he should really be the son of two very intellectual artists, Ken and Flo (played by Jacobs' true parents). Settling into the claustrophobic yet oddly comforting environment of his childhood loft filled with gadgets, trinkets, paintings, and sculptures, he rummages through old letters, comic books, toys and the paraphernalia of his childhood, contacts an old high school woman mate to apologize for something the woman has fully forgotten about, visits a mate to watch old boxing videos, and takes up his guitar to sing a lame high-school song while mom and dad are trying to sleep.Though mom and dad sense that something is wrong and ask him repeatedly what's going on, he says them that he is fine, refusing to confront his demons. When pressed about his relationship, he makes up an affair for his wife as the reason he needs time away from her. Later he is physically unable to leave the apartment and walk down the stairs to the road even though he fortifies himself with half a bottle of wine. Though his parents are caring, there is no truth saying and no sense of urgency. His mother offers him cereal with fruit and says him that he can stay as long as he wants but seems unable to grasp the fact that he is sinking into a black hole.Momma's Boy is not just a movie about pathology, however, but about universal human longing that has enough touches of humor that some have even named it a comedy. Whatever the category you ascribe it to, it is a movie of rare honesty and naturalness that hits us where it hurts. What makes it so unsettling is that Jacobs has reached a part of us that yearns to relive the warm comforts of childhood when all we had to do to feel self worth was to crawl into our mother's lap and close our eyes. Unlike Mikey, however, most of us can launch our eyes, walk down the stairs and out the front door without looking back.


The trouble with this movie is not the acting, editing, and direction. Those are fine. The trouble is the story. I found it aggravating.A married boy living in L.A. travels to Fresh York Town on business. He uses the occasion to visit his parents in Manhattan. Reunited with his old bed, toys and comic books, this presumed mature boy makes a gradual psychological descent into adolescence, reclaiming his status as momma's boy.The entire movie is taken by this slow and gently grinding descent. I simply should not connect with such a narrative. The only thing that kept me from exiting the theater were the parents, the sane side of this story. The mother is naturally satisfied to have her son back and be a well-meaning pain-in-the-neck while the sensible father becomes progressively more concerned with his son's infantile behavior.This movie is certain to draw radically opposite opinions. When I saw it, a number of folks left after thirty minutes. Friends, associates and fanatics of the director gave him a standing ovation.


Having gone to Sundance for the last few years, I am everytime looking for the same thing, a film that will truly inspire me not only as a person but as an artist as well, and each year I search it gets harder and harder to search such a film. This year that movie was Momma's Man. The movie was heartfelt, funny at times, and incredibly poignant. All the performances, were very true and nuanced. I especially loved the actors who played Mikey's parents. They seemed to have come from an Elaine May or Cassavettes(john not nick) film. I almost expected Gena Rowlands to create a cameo as the next door neighbor. What I enjoyed most about Momma's Boy that it felt honest in a method that a lot of films today don't seem to be. There was no artifice, there was no talking down to the audience. Instead, the director allow me experience, not just watch, but experience the emotional adventure that Mikey took. I want more films would do the same.



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