Watch With Mother: 5 Family Friendly Films

It’s not Mother’s Day in the UK for another two weeks, but if you’re seeing your dear old ma for the occasion and are stuck for ideas on what to put on the DVD player, I have a few suggestions.

It’s easy to get stuck – after all, family viewing is a minefield. I still remember from years ago my friend telling me in mortified tones about the time when she was watching Basic Instinct and her parents decided to watch it with her. I think all of them spent most of it staring at their feet, blushing furiously. I had better luck when I brought home Four Weddings and a Funeral, thinking it would be a nice, old-fashioned comedy. My mother walked out after the twentieth “f***”. 

What you need is something that is grown up enough so that Mummy doesn’t feel patronised, but family-friendly enough to have little in the way of sex, violence or swearing. It needs to be reasonably straightforward: Inception might baffle pensionable brains, though you might get away with The Adjustment Bureau.

My tips would be

.

Hidalgo

An easy-going adventure about a long-distance horse race across the Arabian desert, loosely based on a true story.

.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Wonderfully compelling for such a slow-moving film, they really don’t make (many) films like this any more. It’s the sort of film that really should have been made 40 years ago, starring John Mills.

.

Gattaca

This futuristic drama features great performances and a memorable, moving story. It’s rated ’15’, so not quite so family-friendly, but Mother isn’t going to be shocked by anything here.

.

Up

One of the very finest animated features ever made, though the opening scenes had me (and most other people) in floods of tears. It has tragedy, comedy, drama and suspense, and an absolutely fantastic score by Michael Giacchino. It’s one of the sweetest, funniest films I’ve seen.

.

The Jewel of the Nile

This sequel to Romancing the Stone (also recommended) is basically Indiana Jones for girls, and is still jolly entertaining stuff.

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