LATE TO THE PARTY: “MOM AND DAD”
As stated in my Daddy Diary post, I’ve been on paternity leave for quite a while. When not taking care of my now three children and sleeping, I actually decided to catch up on a few films I may have missed. One such film is the latest in Nicholas Cage’s freakout quota, MOM AND DAD.
MOM AND DAD premiered in select theaters this past January 19th, with it becoming available for streaming on February 20th. It stars Nicholas Cage (as Brent Ryan) and Selma Blair (as Kendall Ryan) the mother and father of Anne Winters (as Carly Ryan) and Zackary Arthur (as Joshua Ryan). Carly is a stay-at-home mom facing the everyday drama that teenage daughters come packaged with: lack of communication, always being on the phone, not cooperating with younger brothers; while Brent is on the deep end of a mid-life crisis. From getting demoted, to not being able to finish a pool table he impulsively bought, Brent is the perfect medium for Cage to unleash the years of freakout work he’s racked up. Blair plays Kendall’s stereotype of mother wishing to resume her career after childcare to a T and that’s really all there is.
For unknown reasons, a weird static noise is broadcasted on television and radio. This static noise instills a primal urge for parents to murder their children. Not children in general, but their own children. It’s seen plenty of times throughout the film that parents only want to kill their kids, with the best scenario stemming from Carly stealing her sister’s newborn for safekeeping (her sister was trying to smother the baby). The only possible exception to this rule is Brent, who might actually want to murder Carly’s boyfriend Damon (Robert T. Cunningham) due to his paranoia of them sleeping together. As a father I can attest that wanting to murder the boy dating your daughter is a natural feeling though. To further prove the power of the static, all hell ensues when Brent’s parents Mel and Barbara (Lance Henriksen and Marilyn Dodds Frank) pay a visit.
Writer/director Brian Taylor, clearly had fun with this film, as he did with the Crank series. The simple premise of resenting your children was elevated even further when the grandparents would only attack the adults; just to have the actual children in the situation intervene to keep all parties safe. MOM AND DAD is the type of film that caters to those dark thoughts you occasionally have and provides the perfect outlet to relieve all your tension. It was never meant to be an A+ film and honestly that’s okay. Just remember to never actually act on any of those impulsive desires.