Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Nowadays, you’re lucky to have both parents sharing the responsibility, especially since having an absentee parent seems to be more the norm than the exception.
Certainly, that’s what Hollywood seems to think as the challenge of raising a child or a family on your own appears to be a popular plot staple. Here are ten movies about single parents that you won’t likely forget.
1. Panic Room (2002)
Jodie Foster is Meg Altman, a recently divorced lady who with her daughter, Sarah (a pre-Twilight, non-sparkly Kristen Stewart) acquires a four story brownstone in NYC.
The previous owner was a paranoid millionaire who installed a special safe room complete with a steel door, concrete walls and cameras everywhere. All the better to see Forest Whitaker and Jared Leto breaking in one night, all armed to the teeth and looking for a mother lode secret stash.
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Mother-daughter bonding was never this scary – go to the bathroom before and after you watch this. Your bladder will thank you for it.
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker, Jared Leto
Burnham: “Nice house you guys got. Mom's rich?”
Sarah: “Dad's rich. Mom's just mad.”
2. Spanglish (2004)
Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni play John and Deborah Clasky, a wealthy, but fairly feckless couple. Paz Vega enters their lives as Flor Moreno, a hard-up Mexican single mother who barely speaks English. Aided by the help of her daughter, Cristina (Shelbie Bruce), she picks up the language and the two pick up aspects of the fast life of the Claskies (for good and ill) while struggling to maintain their own identities. You’ll be astounded as Sandler musters Herculean self-control by not uttering a single fart joke.
Stars: Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni, Paz Vega, Cloris Leachman
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Narrator: “I've been overwhelmed by your encouragement to apply to your university and your list of scholarships available to me. Though, as I hope this essay shows, your acceptance, while it would thrill me, will not define me. My identity rests firmly and happily on one fact: I am my mother's daughter. Thank you, Cristina Moreno!”