“Because I said so” is the kind of movie you would want to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon with your girls, or with your mum, with a warm blanket, and a big bowl of popcorn. The 2007 romantic comedy directed by Michael Lehmann has it all.. drama, comedy, affairs, sex, misunderstandings and a ton of entertainment.
Diane Keaton, one of the most talented actors I have seen, plays the very convincing role of Daphne, the single mother of three grown daughters. We see her as the control-freak, who is anxious to set things right, and especially if it is in her daughters’ lives. She is extremely loving, and very very caring, but yes, she is also over-bearing. In the movie, we see her particular concern for her daughter Milly, who had recently experienced a tough breakup. The character of Milly has been played by Mandy Moore. The two have the perfect on-screen timing and chemistry, and we see between them a very believable and relatable mother-daughter relationship.
Daphne also has two other daughters, Maggie (Lauren Graham) and Mae (Piper Perabo) who are happily married, and so she is concerned about her third daughter’s future after her breakup.
Milly had had a history of relationship failures, and so her mother was kind of convinced that her daughter was not capable of finding the suitable man for herself. She felt that Milly always chose men, who were certain of breaking her heart, and that she was a poor judge of character. So as any other mum, Daphne too, would always be heart-broken each time she would see her baby upset and lonely after yet another failed relation. She could not bear to see her youngest make the same mistakes which she had made in her times.
So she decides to take things into her own hands, and she places an ad with an online dating site, where she creates her daughter’s profile,(behind Milly’s back of course), and she writes this LONG list of all the qualities and habits the suitors should NOT have.
She gets quite a few responses, and she decides to meet all the men at a desired time and place. Men come and go, and Daphne is exhausted after rejecting each one of them. She almost gives up the hope of finding a decent man for Milly. But then the guitarist who had been playing in the restaurant, and who had been noticing whatever she had been up to, comes to her table and says he would like to try for her daughter. But Daphne puts her foot down immediately, as she does not want the cute guitarist, who makes all the promises to her daughter, and ultimately moves on to someone else.
After rejecting Johnny ( Gabriel Macht), the guitarist, she sees this other man walk in. And he was all she had hoped for and more. He was successful, rich, smart and very well-spoken. Jason (Tom Everett Scott) was her dream come true for her daughter.
Milly was in the food business, and so her mum tells Jason to hire her for his next architecture event. That would be their chance meeting, almost like a blind date, and that would be his chance to sweep Milly off her feet.
Although things kind of go as planned, Milly also happens to bump into Johnny, the guitarist, and the two hit it off to a point where she is seeing both Jason and him together.
Her mother is absolutely horrified at the outcome, and she keeps trying to push her daughter towards the pampering yet boring Jason, and away from the sweet and charming Johnny, who had been married before, and lived with his son and father.
We, as the audience enjoy the double-dating, the comedy, the confusion and the arguments. But most of all, I have enjoyed the mother-daughter relationship. As over-bearing and imposing Daphne is, she ultimately wants the best for her daughter. She might not have the best way of showing it, but we can feel her utter helplessness when she sees her daughter’s life falling apart. And which mother can just sit back, and watch her daughter make one mistake after another, and not try helping her out?
Yes, I agree Milly needed to make her own mistakes, to learn from them, and she needed to stumble and fall till she found the right path, but as a mother Daphne was right too. Okay may be not when, she went behind her daughter’s back and created that dating profile for her, or when she orchestrated the whole ‘dating Jason’ thing. But the emotion with which she did this was true and honest all along.
But a point where she was at fault was, she needed to realize that her youngest daughter had grown up. She was not the little baby anymore, who needed her mother’s finger to walk the steps of life. As much as it is tough to see your child make the same mistakes which you have made in the past, and see them heading for the same life you have, it is also necessary to accept the fact that you can not control and regulate every event in their lives. Whatever has to happen will happen. A parent can only do that much.
May be this is why, in the end we see Milly choosing Johnny instead of her mother’s choice Jason, because she felt he was right for her, and that was what was important. And we are glad to see Daphne accepting and supporting her daughter’s decision. And, the movie also has a surprise element in the form of a very big change in Daphne’s life as well. I would not want to spoil it for those who have not watched this movie yet, though I would urge you to take some time out and watch this movie, because it really opens our eyes to our relation with our mothers. All in all it is a sweet movie, with a sweeter ending!