HomeScript ReviewsWrite to Reals: The Mother - Was this J Lo project original...

Write to Reals: The Mother – Was this J Lo project original enough?


An excerpt from Reals’ script review for Netflix’s The Mother (2023) which will be available 05/29/23:

Hello, everyone! Hope you’re all having a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend!

With Hank out for a few weeks, it looks like 3Way, The Captain, and I are in charge, which means ALL HORROR REVIEWS ALL THE TIME!

It’s going to be WILD!

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No, but seriously, we’ll try to keep the train on the tracks while Hank is away.

As proof of that, today I’m taking a look at the script for the action film The Mother which recently dropped on Netflix and stars Jennifer Lopez.

The logline for The Mother reads: A military-trained assassin comes out of hiding to protect the daughter she’s never met from ruthless criminals gunning for revenge. (Logline taken from Netflix)

The logline from IMDB reads: While fleeing from dangerous assailants, an assassin comes out of hiding to protect the daughter she left earlier in life.

I have several issues with both of these loglines, even before taking a look at the script, so let’s talk for a moment:

First, it seems like, even today, studios are looking to the success of Taken and are trying to emulate that same formula by taking an older star, or at least a star not known for action roles, and transforming them into an action hero.

This has had very mixed results in the past – for every Nobody with Bob Odenkirk, we have several films like 3 Days to Kill with Kevin Costner. Does anyone remember that one? I had to look it up to confirm it was a real movie.

(Fun fact, and neither here nor there, but both Nobody and 3 Days to Kill costar Connie Nielsen as the wife of the main character. Sounds like she needs a new agent. Though, maybe she just really likes those roles, no judgment here.)

Secondly, what is the appeal of Jennifer Lopez? I’ve never really understood it, and she isn’t exactly a star that can carry a movie on her name alone. I’ve just never heard anyone saying:

Oh, I have to go see the new J.Lo movie! She’s such a talented actress who really disappears into her roles.

Third, speaking of J.Lo, is anyone going to believe that Jenny from the Block is a “military-trained assassin?” I’ll suspend my disbelief only so far, movie!

Fourth, didn’t we just see this movie? It was another Netflix original titled Lou, which I reviewed HERE.

It just seems like Netflix took a big bet by greenlighting the same film over-and-over again, with only a few minor changes, and a different lead actress.

Fifth, and this is blending a bit with the “What Needs Work” section of this review, but the title is terrible for several reasons:

A: It tells me nothing about the story, the plot, or the genre of the film.

B (And perhaps more importantly): There have been so many movies named MotherThe MotherMother’s Day, or some variation on the word.

In fact, when I was looking for the film on Netflix, I came across multiple options, many of which sounded more interesting than this one.


I Am Mother (2019) – Humanity is on the brink of extinction, but a robot raises a girl on a remote base to give humans a second chance. However, the arrival of another human leads to doubt for the girl and everything she believes in.


Mother’s Day (2023) – When the son she’s never known gets kidnapped, former special agent Nina dusts off her deadly skills to bring him home — no matter who gets in her way.

I want to focus on Mother’s Day (2023) because this Polish action flick has a nearly identical plot to The Mother, but it appears to be a far more brutal, believable, and well-shot version of this story.

This is all to say that titles matter, especially when you are pitching something as generic as a basic revenge story with few twists or surprises.

I did notice, however, that there are three credited writers on IMDB – Misha Green (who is the only writer listed on the current draft), Andrea Berloff, and Peter Craig. This likely means the script went through some major rewrites, which I can only hope added more to this paper-thin plot.

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