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The Bad Mother's Handbook [DVD]

4.0 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Daniel (Robert Pattinson) has been spending a lot of time with his crush, Charlotte, who has just learned she is pregnant. Daniel helps Charlotte with her pregnancy struggles and finds himself on a memorable 9-month journey with three independent, outspoken women. Through the tears, laughter and love, this dysfunctional family finds a way to stick it out together.

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Twilight fans will love seeing the swoony vampire hunk Robert Pattinson back before he was undead. The Bad Mother's Handbook, a BBC TV film based on the bestselling book by Kate Long, is a smart, crisply directed portrait of a family of three strong women, and the men who love them and sometimes let them down. Pattinson plays Daniel, an extraordinarily gawky and dweeby high schooler who befriends Charlotte (Holliday Grainger), a bright 16-year-old who discovers she's pregnant. Charlotte's family is completed by her mum, Karen (Catherine Tate), The Bad Mother's Handbook's narrator, and Nan, Karen's adoptive mother (the venerable Anne Reid), who's dotty but lovable. The ostensible stars of The Bad Mother's Handbook are these three women, but Pattinson's Twilight mega-stardom guarantees that many members of Team Edward will be among its most devoted viewers. They won't be disappointed. Pattinson's Daniel wears ill-fitting boots, pants, scarves, jackets--even glasses. His lank hair is lush and auburn, not spiky and vampire-black. Daniel takes the pregnant Charlotte under his wing and spends her entire pregnancy as her one-man support group. Grainger is well cast as the confused, sullen, but still hopeful Charlotte, and she and Pattinson have a believable friend chemistry that lifts their scenes together. Reid transcends her limited role with quiet, emotion-filled scenes that stay in the memory. And Tate gives a spirited performance, though the transition of Karen from the page to the screen could have used some softening; a lot of Karen's rants and snipes about her lot in life are funny in the book and come off as shrill and unfeeling in the film version. Still, the ensemble cast is excellent and no Twilight fan will be able to resist watching a young Pattinson honing his acting craft. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

• Trailer Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Pattinson, Catherine Tate, Anne Reid, Holliday Grainger, Steve John Shepherd
  • Directors: Robin Shepperd
  • Writers: Kate Long, Kate O'Riordan
  • Producers: Abi Bach, Alison Owen, David Roessell, Harry Oulton, Hugo Heppell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2010
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003PAXOL4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,548 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bad Mother's Handbook [DVD]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This made for TV movie was based on the best-selling novel: The Bad Mother's Handbook by Kate Long.

Like most people purchasing this DVD, I bought it because Robert Pattinson played a character in it. And I admit, I had low expectations of enjoying anything more than his appearance in it. Of course, that is WHY they are marketing this movie the way they are.

What I was NOT expecting was to see so LITTLE of Rob and yet to enjoy this movie so much. This is a very moving, funny, thought-provoking film. I LOVED the glimpses of Rob... he is so young and plays awkward SO well. Adorable. But I was not disappointed, even though I would have enjoyed seeing more of him, because the Bad Mother's Handbook is just that GOOD.

The story is about a dysfunctional, multigenerational family of women. Middle-aged Karen is stressed and frustrated, struggling to care for both a teenage daughter and mother with Alzheimer's. She has a bit of an identity crisis when she discovers a long-kept secret. Her bright but hormonal daughter, Charlotte, has her own crisis when she discovers that she's pregnant about the same time her dead-beat boyfriend dumps her. Enter Daniel (Robert Pattinson), a new student and doctor's son, who tries to support her in his own nerdy way. Karen strikes out at both her mother and daughter in bitter disappointment, but all the turmoil serves to teach them all some important lessons about love, family, and being a mother. I laughed and had tears...

My advice - if you think this movie stars Rob, lower your expectations and you'll be better able to enjoy a very good movie.

HINT: If you aren't used to HEAVY British/Scottish accents, you might want to turn on the English SUBTITLES. I did and it made all the difference.
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Format: DVD
While this film is not bad, for a made for TV flick, it is a complete injustice to bill it as a "Robert Pattinson film:. The story is about Charlie, and her relationship with her mother and grandmother. Daniel Gale is an ancillary character at best. This is nothing short of opportunistic advertising, and marketing making the assumption that the public doesn't know better.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I wanted to see this movie because of Rob Pattinson. I knew he was not the main character so I wasn't surprised by that. I was, however surprised by how wonderful this little film is. It is a warm, loving story of a family. It is beautifully acted and creatively filmed. I enjoyed the story & I really felt for the characters. It is very British & tough to understand the dialogue sometimes, but that just added to, not distracted from. A movie that makes me laugh, cry & look forward to seeing it again deserves 4 stars.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I absolutely ADORED this movie! Sign me admittedly guilty of buying this DVD only because of the RPattz factor. However, this movie turned out to have a much more substantial storyline than I initially expected. It was refreshing, compelling,and endearing with a twist of humor. The dynamics of the grandmother, mother, and daughter relationships were thought provoking. The storyline gives you much to consider and want to discuss later. I never would have expected this high caliber from a supposed B teen angst movie. However, a disconnect for me was they didn't show how the other students, faculty or neighbors, etc. reacted towards a pregnant teen in British society. I would have appreciated seeing those struggles. Charlotte's pregnancy came across as unrealistically commonplace and acceptable minus any hardships, ostracism, repercussions, etc.; whereas the rest of the movie was so painfully realistic at times that I was moved to tears. There wasn't a message for teens not to get pregnant here. I found the meaning was more directed towards women, their relationships and honesty. Nonetheless, I liked the film very much. It was entertaining and left you wanting to know more. I thought all the actors even down to the saucy ex-husband did a convincing impressive portrayal. As far as the RPattz factor, I thought he was amazing and did one of his best performances as the awkward geek. Frankly, he stole every scene with his warm humor and gentle approach although he was only in a handful of scenes (still worth buying the DVD though for fans!). He had a natural ease in his acting delivery then, which I think he should get back to in the films he's doing now. I'd highly recommend this movie for RPattz fans, pregnant teens and people looking for their birth mothers - not sure who else would find this film as amusing as I did! I plan to watch it over and over again. Hope you enjoy, too!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Okay, I get that this movie is the equivalent of "made for TV" here in the U.S. I get that it's kind of "fluffy", dealing with heavy themes (adoption, unplanned pregnancy, family secrets) with a big dose of sardonic humor. I've never read the book, either. I'll admit that I bought the movie because Robert Pattinson was in it and I was curious about his early acting roles. I didn't expect much. What I found was a cute, somewhat heartwarming little film about family ties, VERY British, with likeable characters. Rob's only in it somewhat (which I expected) and it's obvious he's at the beginning of his career--although he has some great moments with his portrayal of awkward, socially-inept Daniel. Holly (these days she's Holiday) Granger is also fun to watch and other actors are adequate (although there are one or two stereotypes which were played a bit too camp for me). Still, I've watched this several times, usually when I just want something light-hearted. Fun little movie!

On a side note, Robert and Holiday appear together in the recent film Bel Ami. Interesting to see their progression as actors a few years later.
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