Film Review by Kam Williams
Meddling Mother Hovers over Exasperated Teen in Dysfunctional Family Comedy
Lloyd’s (Jason Dolley) life has been made miserable by his compulsively-hovering mother, Maggie (Nia Vardalos), who can’t help but monitor his every move. The frustrated teenager’s only hope for relief rests with getting accepted to a college clear across the country, since that would make it impossible for her to meddle in his business day in and day out. Until then, he’s doing his best to avoid her while making plans to attend the impending senior prom.
But that proves easier said than done, given how the lonely divorcee has no shame about peppering her beleaguered little boy with probing personal questions like “Are you seeing anyone?” “When was your first kiss?” and “What do you think about when you masturbate?
So, it’s no surprise that Lloyd isn’t at all forthcoming, even about his sexual preference. That hasn’t prevented Maggie from coming to the conclusion that he must be gay, because of such supposedly telltale signs as sensitivity and writing poetry.
Another big clue she’s seized on is the fact that he prefers to have a platonic relationship with the gorgeous cheerleader (Skyler Samuels) who’s gone gaga over him. Consequently, Maggie has not only attempted to coax Lloyd out of the closet, but she’s applied for scholarships that are reserved for homosexuals.
Is he or isn’t he? That’s the question at the heart of Helicopter Mom, a dysfunctional family comedy
directed by Salome Breziner (The Secret Life of Dorks). Thanks to a cleverly-conceived, well-concealed script the movie actually keeps you guessing whether or not Lloyd is straight right up to the very end.
The film features Oscar-nominee Nia Vardalos as the title character in her best role since My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). She and co-star Jason Dolley generate the requisite negative chemistry to convince you that they really might be mother and son locked in a battle over the right to privacy.
An alternately humorous and sobering cautionary tale chronicling the woes of an exasperated kid smothered by a well-meaning mom in an era of omnipresent parenting.
Very Good (3 stars)
Running time: 84 minutes
Distributor: E1 Entertainment