Oscar-winner Diane Keaton plays the meddling mother to pop music star Mandy Moore in a relationship comedy about family, love and happiness. It arrives at American theaters timed to pick up the audience that might choose romance over the 'Super Bowl' pro football championship game this weekend. Alan Silverman has a look at "Because I Said So."
Daphne is a widowed mom who has devoted her entire life to her three daughters. The two oldest are married and now Daphne - played by comic veteran Diane Keaton - is determined to find a match for her youngest, Millie, played by Mandy Moore.
Frustrated that Millie's relationships seem all-too brief and not headed for the altar, Daphne turns to an Internet dating service.
But the guy that mom thinks is perfect is not nearly as right for Millie as the guy the daughter finds on her own ...and it takes most of the movie for strong-willed Daphne to figure that out.
Diane Keaton says she knows the 'meddling mom' is a stock character in romantic comedies, but she believes that's because they really exist off-screen too. "I never imagined in my life that this would be something I would be playing. My mother wasn't like that at all, but I do remember some friends having meddling mothers and thinking 'how weird is that?' Apparently, they are all over the place in life and so now I've played one and it was fun because she was more wacky. This woman was wacky," she say.
She adds "When I was playing it I thought 'I'm sure I'm not like this as a mother,' but the more you think about you realize it's really hard for you to look at yourself and see who you are from your daughter's point of view ...or from your son's point of view, for that matter. Then I started to think 'well, maybe I am ...but just in a different way.' Being a parent is really a humbling experience, if you're willing to see who you are in that relationship. You know, the worry ...I worry all the time about my kids. I am consumed by them [and] when you do that you have a tendency to want to guide them too much."
As Millie, Mandy Moore says she tapped into that mixture of frustration and love that is a familiar part of many young adult relationships with parents. It also helped that Moore was inspired to become an actress by Keaton and her signature role, Annie Hall.
"I tried to harness a little of that adoration because I could use it for the character. I really think she is just so in love with her mother, so I tried to find the parallels and use them a little bit for the character. It's hard to get past working with someone like that ...[she is] such an icon who has had such longevity in this business. You can't really get away from it, so I tried to use it to my advantage," she says.
Director Michael Lehman, whose hits date back to the 1988 thriller Heathers, says the mother-daughter relationship at the core of this film is something of a mystery to men.
"One of the things in the script that was so interesting was the sort of openness of women talking about how they dress and what they do ...sort of being in the woman's world. That, as a man, to me was interesting, because we're not really allowed in there that way," he says.
So, does that make it a 'chick flick' intended mainly for women?
"I definitely think this is a movie that is going to have direct appeal to women," he said. "It's about a mother-daughter relationship. Generally in movies romance appeals more to women than to men. This is conventional wisdom. I don't think the conventional wisdom is wrong.
Because I Said So also features Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo as Daphne's married daughters. Tom Everett Scott and Gabriel Macht play the men vying for Millie's affection; and Stephen Collins rekindles a spark of romance in the mom's life.