I was stunned by the film “Two Mothers,” and not for any good reason at all. Rather, it’s because the film is so laughable and bad, I can’t believe the level of talent involved in this disaster ever signed on to make it. Robin Wright and Naomi Watts play lifelong best friends Lil and Roz who live in gorgeous beachside houses in Australia. The film opens with some gorgeous shots of the girls whiling away their days swimming and sunning themselves on the beach. Cut to more recent times and the women are mothers and Lil and her son Ian are mourning the loss of their patriarch to some sort of traffic accident. We learn that now the sons of Lil and Roz are best friends forever too and then we cut to modern day where they’re all still BFF’S. Yay!
As life idles by in this gorgeous beachside town that’s seemingly only populated by these two families, each day involves surfing, swimming, laying around and drinking. But soon, both Lil and Roz realize that they have some damn fine looking sons. Soon after that, Ian (Samuel) decides he has a crush on Roz and soon after that, the two start having sex. Not to be outdone by his best friend, Roz’s son Tom (Frecheville) heads down the street to Lil’s house and begins a slightly more difficult seduction that takes a night to reach copulation rather than the five minutes it takes Ian to get Roz in the sack. Thus a creepy, cloying, badly written middle-aged mother sex fantasy starts to play out. What can possibly go wrong!?
As I said, I was shocked by how bad “Two Mothers” is. Watts and Penn are some of our finest actresses and I just can’t see how they thought this film would be a success. Director Anne Fontaine is also no hack and even here, in an unmitigated disaster, the film looks beautiful. But as these four people continue their bizarre trysts they begin to alienate everyone around them, including Roz’s husband (and Tom’s dad) Harold (Mendelsohn) who is unceremoniously sent away to a big city for a big job. We soon realize that all four of these people are complete a******s and, just as in “Seinfeld,” it’s a miracle they all found one another.
The biggest issues here are there’s no motivation for these good-looking boys to get a sudden case of MILF fever. Neither are lacking for motherly love so there’s no subconscious reason to want to bone their best friend’s mom. These guys are also studly surfers who could have the pick of any woman in town, if they ever left one another’s houses or the surrounding beach. Lil and Roz are also beautiful women and Roz’s husband seems to be a great guy. There’s simply no real reason for these sexual relationships to happen aside from trying to create some kind of controversial or provocative film. The other big issue is the eye-rollingly bad dialogue that comes forth as Lil and Roz try to navigate this weird situation. The unintentional laughs that came out at my screening were one of the only things I liked about the film. Plus the biggest problem here, as I mentioned, the two mothers and their two sons are just awful people.
At one point a co-worker of Lil’s has a crush on her and when he finally confesses his true feelings, both women (who are apparently inseparable) begin laughing at him. Later, the boys attempt real relationships with girls their age and rather than handle things like conscientious adults, all four of them can’t wait to screw everything up in one another’s lives. And look, I get that these are supposed to be damaged sociopaths or something but there’s simply no reason shown for their actions and as a result, “Two Mothers” is a huge waste of time.