What You Need To Know:
(B, V, O) Biblical message about the importance of respecting parents & strongly positive depiction of a mother's appropriate balance of love and discipline; mild slapstick violence--one character punched in groin & woman smeared with horse manure; and, magic spell used to set up story line.
In TRADING MOM, the three Martin children, Elizabeth, Jeremy and Harry, are read the riot act by their hard-working mom (Sissy Spacek), who is raising them alone and makes a serious effort to balance love and discipline. However, the kids wish they could trade Mom for a better model. In a fairy-tale twist, a kindly gardener up the road reluctantly gives them an incantation that might bring about their wish. The next morning, they have neither the presence nor the memory of Mom, and they receive three chances to pick out a new mom. Elizabeth chooses the ultra-chic Mama, dripping in furs and venom. Then, Jeremy picks an exhausting outdoor fanatic. Finally, Harry picks an unruly circus performer. Once these catastrophes are finished, the children begin to long for their own mom and each tries to imagine a perfect day with their mother as they fall asleep, waking up to a household returned to its original state, but now they have a huge appreciation for their real mother.
TRADING MOM has its heart in the right place. Regrettably, its delivery is less than perfect. However, the lesson here is clear that a loving mom may have to dish out some discipline and she should be loved and respected for doing so.