Momma's Man

Critics Consensus

Moody yet touching, Momma's Man successfully illustrates with elegant simplicity the struggles of a man consumed with his adolescence.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 46

50%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,957
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Movie Info

Mikey (Matt Boren) flies from Los Angeles to Manhattan for a business meeting and takes a moment to see his graying parents (Flo Jacobs, Ken Jacobs) in the dimly lit downtown loft where he grew up. Overcome with nostalgia and a sudden longing for his increasingly distant adolescence, Mikey decides to make himself at home. But as the nights wear on -- and his father and his wife, Laura (Dana Varon), grow increasingly concerned -- Mikey struggles to confront his fears of adulthood.

Cast & Crew

Paul Mezey
Executive Producer
Tyler Brodie
Executive Producer
Tobias Datum
Cinematographer
Darrin Navarro
Film Editor
Mandy Hoffman
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for Momma's Man

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (4)

  • Quote not available.

    November 17, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • Jacobs's low-fi third feature forges unique stylistic territory for the American independent film.

    August 24, 2009 | Full Review…

    Rob Nelson

    indieWire
    Top Critic
  • This simple but assured indie drama about the safety of childhood and the necessity of leaving it is particularly affecting because writer-director Azazel Jacobs draws so heavily on his own life.

    May 29, 2009 | Full Review…
  • The film is decidedly low-key. As such movies go, it's enjoyable, though you might find yourself wishing Mikey would just pull himself together.

    May 13, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Awkward pauses and gestures and moments of self-examination give it a rich texture. It's a lovely work, sad and funny. A melancomedy, if you will.

    May 8, 2009 | Rating: 5/6 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Slyly funny and genuinely original, Momma's Man represents that rarest of things, a truly independent American movie.

    May 8, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Momma's Man

  • Feb 19, 2010
    I didnt start getting into this film until after I found out why the guy was really staying with his parents & then.......Wow
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2009
    A truly odd movie that annoyed me but was good enough not to hate. I read a lot of good things about this movie but didn't really feel like there was anything to gain from this film.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2008
    Boring and pretentious.
    Brandon K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2008
    [size=3]The ultra-indie, hand-made "Momma's Man" is one of a kind. In his feature-film debut, writer/ director [b]Azazel Jacobs[/b] takes the camera literally into his childhood home and casts his real-life parents (his father is renowned experimental filmmaker and Cinema Professor [b]Ken Jacobs[/b]) in a bizarre story about a man around 30 years old who visits his parents in New York and then mysteriously cannot leave, while his wife and newborn baby await him in California.[/size] [img]http://www.mspfilmfest.org/2008/images/stories/films/MommasMan.jpg[/img] [size=3]Despite having almost no dialogue, "Momma's Man" is oddly gripping as we watch this otherwise normal man slip down some kind of rabbit hole in his subconscious. To Jacobs' credit, there's never any explanation. [/size][size=3]Jacobs seems to believe that normal people occasionally fall into an odd little ditch on the side of the road and struggle for a time. This story is a loving and humane exploration of one such occasion.[/size] [size=3]There's no attempt to offer a psychological theory. We just watch this man experience it, and watch his parents try to help him. Especially helpful is his mother, who offers tenderness and concern. [/size] [size=3][/size] [size=3]The film's most magical scene happens at the end, when the mother holds her sobbing adult son like a boy. It is an image like none I've seen before. It radiates remarkable compassion and seems to say that even as grown-ups we sometimes need to be comforted by a parent, perhaps especially at age 30, which is the real beginning of adulthood now in America. [b]Flo Jacobs[/b] is positively radiant as the mother.[/size] [size=3]The son's trouble does get pretty serious. His condition begins to border on agoraphobia, with his not being able to go outdoors at all. This is where the film gets darker. But there is an endpoint. I won't reveal the details, but I can say that the son does not become psychotic. This is not the onset of major mental illness.[/size] [size=3]For some reason, Jacobs did not cast himself as the son. Actor [b]Matt Boren [/b]plays the son. Perhaps Jacobs didn't want to take the reality-cinema concept too far, and cast Boren to create some distance. [/size] [size=3]In fact, I think that was the only big mistake in the film. Boren to me did not work at all. [/size][size=3]There was a certain electricity watching the real Ken and Flo Jacobs, knowing they were the real people that raised Azazel and that this was the real apartment in New York City where they had raised him and where they presumably continue to live. [/size] [size=3]Boren lacked that electricity, and he didn't fit in. He never seemed like he was raised in that apartment or even in Manhattan. Nor did it seem like he would have been the child of artists. He looked like he had been raised in Queens by people who had never read a book in their lives. More like Archie Bunker's son than Ken Jacobs'. I'm puzzled as to what Jacobs was after in the choice of Boren and in the way he directed Boren, making the son seem schlubby and uneducated.[/size] [size=3]Finally, I must mention the apartment. The Jacobs' home becomes almost a separate character in the film. It is an apartment like you've never seen before, absolutely crammed with fascinating bric-a-brac and artistic material. "Momma's Man" is worth seeing just to see a real artist's apartment. [/size] [size=3]In some ways, one could see the film as a tribute to the Jacobses and their unorthodox approach to life. Theirs is certainly a lifestyle rarely seen in film. The film could also be seen as a tribute to a former era, when Manhattan was filled with artists like the Jacobses instead of yuppies who buy furniture at Crate & Barrel.[/size]
    William D Super Reviewer

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