It’s been a popular storyline for television and film to follow – portraying single mothers as victim, waiting for men to rescue them from precarious scenarios.
However, times are changing, and more movies are now presenting single mothers as heroines of their own story. This article takes a look at five inspirational single moms on film.
According to movie site Fandango, “Erin Brockovich” features the titular character, a down-on-her-luck mother, managing not only to discover a massive cover-up involving a major power company contaminating the town’s water with poisonous substances, she also spearheaded the lawsuit against the company. Her efforts led to the plaintiffs winning the case.
Prior to “Erin Brockovich,” Julia Roberts was known for starring in rom-coms such as “Pretty Woman,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” “Notting Hill,” and “Runaway Bride.” However, her role in the true-to-life story put her on the map as a serious actress, with the role garnering her several awards.
(Side note: I was watching this exact movie when my water broke when I was pregnant with my twin boys. So this movie literally started me down the road of single motherhood.)
Jenna – Waitress
At first, Jenna, played by Keri Russell, seemed like a train wreck waiting to happen. She was unhappy with her relationship with her abusive husband, and her job as a waitress. She became pregnant, and although it wasn’t exactly a timely pregnancy, she decides to keep the baby despite someone suggesting that she gets an abortion. Matters become even worse when she falls in love with her new doctor, who she initiated an affair with despite the fact that both of them are married.
The birth of her baby gives her the strength to leave both her husband and her lover, knowing that she is better off without the two relationships in her life. The epilogue revealed that she soon became the owner of the diner that she worked at and went onto raise her child all by herself. But more importantly, she was happier than ever before.
May Miller – The Single Moms Club
“The Single Moms Club” may feature five strong women, but Working Mother pointed out that May Miller stands out among the leading characters. Played by Nia Long, May is a newspaper reporter who is raising her 12-year-old son alone. The boy is desperately searching for his biological father, and this is a key element to the story and how May deals with the subject.
Sarah Connor – Terminator 2
An action film might seem out of place in a list of strong single mothers, but Sarah Connor is a character that continues to break boundaries. She didn’t let her incarceration into a mental institution stop her. In the first “Terminator” film, Connor found herself locked up, but instead of letting this ruin her, she used it as an avenue to workout and get physically fit for the impending robot apocalypse.
Despite two actors portraying Sarah Connor in both film and television after “Terminator 2,” it was Linda Hamilton’s performance that the film series fans remember the most. Her role as a tough mother in the film helped put “Terminator 2” on the map as the best film in the franchise, and it continues to produce spin-offs. The Terminator 2 slot game which was unveiled by gaming site Slingo is just one of the popular digital games released in the film’s honor more than two decades since it first came out.
Dede Tate – “Little Man Tate”
As a single mother, Dede Tate, played by Jodie Foster, struggled to provide for her son Fred. The film focuses on Fred as an intellectual genius and how Dede needs to step up to the plate to give her son the best chance at realizing his potential. She eventually takes a chance and enrolls Fred in a private school for gifted children. The film shows Dede’s attempts to connect with her son and nurture his talents.