My Mother, the Spy (2000) starring Jayne Brook, Dyan Cannon, Kevin Kilner, David Palffy, Gloria Stuart, Garry Chalk, Garwin Sanford, Jay Brazeau directed by Elodie Keene - movie review on The Movie Scene

My Mother, the Spy (2000)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Dyan Cannon and Jayne Brook in My Mother, the Spy (2000)

Mother of the Spy

Frustrated by her mother Gloria (Dyan Cannon) always clearing off with no warning, super efficient book editor Alison Shaeffer (Jayne Brook) decides to track her down in the hope of sorting out their differences. Her journey takes her to a remote island where to her shock she discovers that her mother is in fact a top secret CIA agent. To make matters worse her mum is on a covert mission and so Alison has to play along in order not to ruin it. As it turns out Alison has somehow inherited her mother's knack for spy work.

As I recently watched "My Mother, the Spy" for the first time I couldn't get another movie out of my head, the 2002 comedy "Master of Disguise" starring Dana Carvey who learns that his father was a secret spy. You can see the similarities except where "Master of Disguise" was a disaster from start to finish "My Mother, the Spy" is watchable even if it is only average and nothing more than a vehicle for its stars.

Gloria Stuart in My Mother, the Spy (2000)

As such let me say right off the bat that the storyline in "My Mother, the Spy" is obvious from start to finish as Alison becomes frustrated by being let down by her mum and so tracks her down only to learn that she is a secret agent. It really doesn't take a genius to work out how this will play out with Alison having inherited various skills from her mum without knowing it and so having a natural talent for spy work which leads her in to some comically sticky situations.

The thing about "My Mother, the Spy" is that it is a vehicle for its stars rather than a movie which thrives on a story or on humour, which trust me is a good thing as the humour is not that great either. But as a star vehicle it is sufficient and in Jayne Brook it has a very likeable star, charming, attractive and comical without being forced. It is the same with Dyan Cannon who was unbelievably 63 when this was released but looks a lot younger as she also has the ability to deliver easy going comedy. Plus there is an enjoyable array of supporting performances including the wonderful Gloria Stuart and the entertaining Kevin Kilner.

What this all boils down to is that "My Mother, the Spy" is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination but the appealing nature of Jayne Brook and Dyan Cannon along with plenty of obvious yet light hearted humour makes it an enjoyable distraction. And to be honest "My Mother, the Spy" looked like a complete turkey yet was a lot better than I expected.


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