Since its Netflix debut on February 24, 2021, the mother-daughter dramedy series Ginny & Georgia has remained among the most-viewed titles on the platform. With a lighthearted touch, showrunner Sarah Lampert taps into the angst-ridden mind of a precocious 15-year-old girl (Antonia Gentry) dealing with her glamorous but immature mother (Brianne Howey) in the wake of her father’s death.
While fans of the show await to hear if Netflix will renew the series for a second season, many are sure to seek out similar mother-daughter stories to hold them over.
10 Anywhere But Here (1999)
Wayne Wang’s Anywhere But Here is a coming-of-age-tale in which an idiosyncratic mother named Adele August (Susan Sarandon) impulsively leaves her small midwestern town to start anew in Beverly Hills with her mature teenage daughter, Ann (Natalie Portman).
Ann wants nothing to do with Beverly Hills and would much rather attend college on the east coast. As the two hit the road and hash out their issues, the pragmatic Ann expresses resentment over leaving her stepfather behind.
9 Mermaids (1990)
Based on the Patty Dann novel, Mermaids is a family dramedy set in 1963. Rachel Flax (Cher) is an eccentric free spirit who decides to leave Oklahoma with her angsty 15-year-old daughter Charlotte (Winona Ryder) and nine-year-old daughter Kate (Christina Ricci) to live in Massachusetts.
In their new environment, Rachel helps Charlotte go through the growing pains of adolescence while forging her own romance with a local shoe store operator named Lou (Bob Hoskins).
8 Pieces Of April (2003)
Written and directed by Peter Hedges, Pieces of April is a holiday mother-daughter dramedy sure to appeal to Ginny & Georgia fans. Katie Holmes stars as April Burns, an aimless young woman who invites her terminally-ill mother Joy (Patricia Clarkson) over for Thanksgiving.
In addition to Joy, April’s estranged family also makes the pilgrimage from Pennsylvania to New York for the holiday. As April prepares for her family’s arrival so she can prove her worth to them, they spend the car-ride discussing April’s tumultuous lifestyle.
7 Postcards From The Edge (1990)
Written by Carrie Fisher and directed by Mike Nichols, Postcards From the Edge pairs Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine in a hilarious mother-daughter dramedy.
The plot concerns Suzanne Vale (Streep), an actress dealing with addiction required to live with her mother Doris (MacLaine) following rehab. If Suzanne fails to comply, she will lose her next big acting gig. Upon arrival, Suzanne contends with Doris’s excessive drinking, as well as her conceited movie star ego.
6 Crooklyn (1994)
Spike Lee’s semiautobiographical coming-of-age tale, Crooklyn, revolves around Carolyn Carmichael (Alfre Woodard), a strong-willed educator who raises her five children along with her hard-headed husband Woody (Delroy Lindo) in 1973 Brooklyn.
While the lives of the entire family are explored, the central relationship centers on Carolyn and her nine-year-old daughter Troy (Zelda Harris), the youngest and only female of five siblings. Over the course of one formative summer, Troy learns life lessons through grief, joy, tragedy, triumph, and her mother’s unconditional love.
5 Akeelah And The Bee (2008)
Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is an 11-year-old girl living in a rough part of Los Angeles with her neglectful mother and brother. Devastated by her father’s death, Akeelah is sent to detention for missing class too often.
As part of her punishment, Akeelah is told to enter a spelling bee, which she wins. With encouragement from her professor, Akeelah enters the Scripps National Spelling Bee and grows closer with her mother Tanya (Angela Bassett) en route to the competition.
4 Stepmom (1998)
In Chris Columbus’ Stepmom, two separate mother-daughter relationships are explored with a lighthearted touch. When Luke (Ed Harris) and Jackie (Susan Sarandon) get divorced, he introduces his new girlfriend Isabel (Julia Roberts) to their two young children.
As Isabel tries to ingratiate herself to their kids, she is met with hostility by the resentful Jackie. When Jackie reveals that she has a terminal disease, Isabel assumes the parenting role of the children while attempting to improve her relationship with Jackie.
3 The Joy Luck Club (1993)
Adapted from the Amy Tan novel, The Joy Luck Club chronicles four complex relationships between Chinese-American daughters and their traditional mothers.
Created to play mahjong and tell stories, The Joy Luck Club consists of Lindo (Tsai Chin), Ying-Ying (France Nuyen), An-Mei (Lisa Lu), and Suyuan (Kieu Chinh). The four women gather to reminisce about the lives their mothers led in China before emigrating to the U.S. to have children. Through their stories, they better appreciate the difficulty of motherhood.
2 Lady Bird (2017)
Saorise Ronan soars high as Lady Bird, a nonconformist teenager dealing with her brutally-honest mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf) and her stifling environment in Sacramento, California.
Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, the well-observed coming-of-age dramedy gets to the heart of adolescent ennui and the longing for something bigger and better despite the presence of a discouraging mother. With a bit of growth, Lady Bird alters her perspective to realize she is who she is because of where she comes from and how she was raised.
1 Terms Of Endearment (1983)
James L. Brooks won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay for Terms of Endearment, the definitive mother-daughter dramedy of the 20th century.
The story follows Emma (Debra Winger), a woman who cannot evade her overbearing and disapproving mother Aurora (Shirley MacLaine in an Oscar-winning role). When Emma marries a man Aurora does not like, the rocky mother-daughter relationship lasts several years until one of them is stricken by cancer. With death looming, tearful mother-daughter confrontation tugs at the heartstrings like no other.
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