Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Because I Said So (2006)

Director: Michael Lehmann (1)

Cast: Diane Keaton (2), Mandy Moore (3), Lauren Graham (4), Piper Perabo (5), Stephen Collins (6), Tom Everett Scott (7), Gabriel Macht (8), 

My favourite quote - "I just want you to understand something about motherhood okay. I mean, it's the most impossible love. You tell me when it ends. You tell me when it stops. All I know is, it's absolutely fine for me to teach you how to walk and talk, and then you grow up and you head off in the wrong direction toward a cliff. And I'm supposed to just stand there and wave and go, "Well, kids, good luck. It's Mom. I'm here. " Well, I can't do that. What am I supposed to do, huh? Am I supposed to just put my feet up at the end of the day and say to myself, "Well, you know, they're on their own and she says she's fine. " Well, you won't be.

Mama by Spice Girls 
(Video linked from Youtube)

She used to be my only enemy and never let me be free
Catching me in places that I knew I shouldn't be
Every other day I crossed the line
I didn't mean to be so bad
I never thought you would
Become the friend I never had

Back then I didn't know why
Why you were misunderstood
So now I see through your eyes
All that you did was love

Mama I love you, Mama I care
Mama I love you, Mama my friend
You're my friend

I didn't want to hear it then but
I'm not ashamed to say it now
Every little thing you said and did was right for me
I had a lot of time to think about
About the way I used to be
Never had a sense of my responsibility

Back then I didn't know why
Why you were misunderstood
So now I see through your eyes
All that you did was love

Mothers know best. Do they really? It's the time of the year when working adults get their "report cards" regarding how they've fared at work in the past year. The reward/results come in the form of bonuses and pay increments. I fared very badly. And I cried as the reality of the results sunk in. I cried because this thought came into my mind - "What do I tell my mother?" 

Let me explain. In recent months, my mother has been first hinting, and now blatantly telling me I should get a new job. A better paying job. A 9 to 5 job that pays better. She's been encouraging me to apply for a "creative position" at Google without really knowing if what this "creative position" her friend has been talking to her about entails. And just recently, while watching the Zombieland blu ray together she dropped a "so are you going to start applying for jobs" line just before the opening titles rolled out when the huge chunk of words under the heading "WARNING" appeared. Suddenly I wasn't sure if the "WARNING" sign was a huge hint about my mother's "nudging" or a warning against piracy. 

All this reminds me of the way Diane Keaton's character, in Because I Said So, "convinced" and "manipulated" her daughter, played by Mandy Moore, to date the man she deems suitable for her daughter. 

A mother's love. That's what Because I Said So is mostly about. Mothers may or may not always be right. But mothers do what they do because they love you. 

It was only after I went to Australia to study that I became a little closer to my mother. You see, I come from a traditionally Asian family where the parents are the stern father and mother figure in their children's lives. Not like in western culture where mothers can be best friends with their daughters and father are buddies with their sons.

In 1992, Vivian Jansen, Netherlands' Miss Universe representative, was asked this question during the live show: "Could you ever marry someone your parents disapprove of?" (You can take a look at the clip of her answer). And this question and theme is something that is explored in this film. What if you mother thinks she knows who is best suited for you, but you disagree and fall for someone your mother disapproves of? What then? Do mothers always know best? I hope I never have to face such a dilemma. However, I agree with Vivian Jansen's response. I would go ahead and marry him. But first, one must have the courage to defy your parents' wishes, and go for what you really want instead of what they think is best for you.

Mandy Moore is one of the earlier singer turned actresses in my growing up days. And I would say she is one of the most successful to do so. Katherine McPhee caught the acting bug and her feature debut was in the film The House Bunny (She now plays the lead role in the television series Smash) I remember watching Mandy Moore in A Walk To Remember, and loving her in that film. She also gave a stellar performance in Because I Said So as Diane Keaton's youngest daughter Milly. 

Diane Keaton great performance in the film made me feel so frustrated at her interference in her daughter's life but also empathize with her because I understood where she was coming from. 

After Tom Everett Scott's charming and gentlemanly character in That Thing You Do! I was pretty annoyed with the way he treated Mandy Moore's character Milly. But I guess this just meant that he's a pretty decent actor to have pulled off the know-it-all, mildly pompous personality his character was supposed to be. 

In all honesty, on top of it being a film about a mother's love, it is also making a statement about my favourite topic of all, romantic love. While the whirlwind romance between Diane Keaton's Daphne and Stephen Collins' Joe (Johnny's father) is very sudden, and seemingly contrived to fulfill a plot point, it is sweet to see Diane's Daphne finally loosening up and finally having fun. And as for Mandy Moore's Milly, she realises that love is about being with someone who loves you for you. When you find someone who understands the real you, someone you are comfortable being yourself with, never let them go. Not even if your mother objects to him. (Now this bit reminds me of the film What's Your Number?, a film starring Chris Evans and Anna Faris)

(1) Director Michael Lehmann has directed films like The Truth About Cats And Dogs (1996), and 40 Days And 40 Nights (2002).

(2) Diane Keaton has acted in films like The Godfather (1972), The Godfather II (1974), Annie Hall (1977), The Godfather III (1990), Father Of The Bride (1991), Father Of The Bride II (1995), The First Wives Club (1996), The Other Sister (1999), Hanging Up (2000), Something's Gotta Give (2003), The Family Stone (2005), and Morning Glory (2010).

(3) Singer-songwriter Mandy Moore has acted in a number of films like The Princess Diaries (2001), A Walk To Remember (2002), How To Deal (2003), Chasing Liberty (2004), Saved! (2004), American Dreamz (2006), License To Wed (2007), and Dedication (2007). She also voiced the character of Rapunzel in the Disney animation Tangled (2010).

(4) Lauren Graham has acted in films like Sweet November (2001), The Pacifier (2005), Evan Almighty (2007), and It's Kind Of A Funny Story (2010). She is well-known for playing the role of Lorelai Gilmore in the television series Gilmore Girls (2000-2007).

(5) Piper Perabo has acted in films like Coyote Ugly (2000), Slap Her... She's French (2002), Cheaper By The Dozen (2003), The Cave (2005), Cheaper By The Dozen II (2005), Imagine Me & You (2005), Carriers (2009), and Looper (2012). 

(6) Stephen Collins has acted in films like The First Wives Club (1996), Drive Me Crazy (1999), and The Three Stooges (2012). 

(7) Tom Everett Scott has acted in films like That Thing You Do! (1996) and Race To Witch Mountain (2009).

(8) Gabriel Macht has acted in films like The Recruit (2003) and Love And Other Drugs (2010).

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks… Because I Said So is a film makes you focus on how romantic relationships are meant to be easy and comfortable and how if two people compliment each other, it becomes easier to work at the relationship. It's also about a mother's never-ending love for her children. We are able to be our true selves around our loved one and family members because no matter what mistakes we make or they make, we still love them because they are family. (3 of 5)

Click here to follow Entitled to Opinion on Facebook!


  1. You know, much as we hate to admit, mothers are so DARN right about stuff.

    I agree with your mum about looking for a new job though. :P

    1. I still love what I'm doing... plus I love my colleagues... Not ready to let go... yet... =) Now if only I can muster up the courage to tell my mum and follow through with what I want...