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Review | the perfect mother-in-law

Surprising how the feature has more mistakes than successes


Brazilian cinema has been betting on many comedies recently such as fun An Inseparable Couple and even the smart Future Gallery. The objective is to make the public laugh and reflect on subjects that are normally not on the agenda amidst a mismanagement that generates more controversy than a Thursday reality show. Fact is, the new comedy starring Protasium Cocoa can generate a good debate about the figure of the mother-in-law, somewhat stereotyped in our society and the way in which the man is taught from an early age to play the woman's maid and is often taught by the mother herself. Unfortunately, this comedy makes more mistakes than it does right.

Anyone who knows the actress Cacau Protásio, knows that she has an interesting curriculum, including productions of great movie successes, such as the films “Vai que Cola” and “Farofeiros”. Now Cacau Protásio debuts as the protagonist of the comedy “A Sogra Perfeita”, produced by Paris Entertainment, direction of Cris D'Amato and script of Flávia Guimaraes and Bia Crespo. With distribution of Paris Movies and Downtown Movies, the feature has a confirmed release for November 25 in Brazilian cinemas.

The narrative follows the story of Neide, a character created especially for Cacau Protásio: a struggling woman who won in life and now owns the best beauty salon in Vila Cleyde, a fictional neighborhood in the East Side of São Paulo. Since he split from Jailson (André Mattos), she seeks to live her single life intensely, the problem is that her eldest son, Fábio Júnior (Luis Navarro), doesn't even think about leaving the house, which makes her very upset. 

The perfect mother-in-law molding her perfect daughter-in-law / Reproduction

Close to her 45th birthday, Neide embarks on the idea of her best friend, Sheila (Evelyn Castro), and decides to find the perfect daughter-in-law so that her son can fall in love and, finally, leave home, paving the way for the long-awaited freedom. She chooses the hillbilly and naive Ciléia (Polliana Aleixo), a newly hired receptionist at the salon who ends up accepting being “trained” by Neide to win over the boy. Initially, the plan is right, until something goes awry and what seemed right may not happen. Something positive in the plot is to see a black protagonist, with curves, from humble origins who won in life and is financially independent. However, this alone does not support 1:45 am of film. We see that the production was concerned about including LGBT characters, but this is something of concern, as some barely have lines – Neide's eldest son is gay and if he spoke two words, it was too much – and when he has a significant role as Eddy , interpreted by Rodrigo Sant'Anna, the interpretation, the presence on screen is boring and almost a disservice. It is a super caricature character, the stereotype of the stereotype that represents zero people and conveys a very exaggerated view.

Here we realize that Neide is inserted in the contemporary middle class from a new family reconfiguration: the ex-husband lives in another house, but both have a good relationship as much as possible, the eldest son lives with his boyfriend, while the youngest already adult refuses to leave the house due to the good life he has: he finds everything done by his mother. The script is persistent in quoting the “leitinho” that the boy Fábio Júnior (Luis Navarro) likes to consume, however, we can see the satire in relation to the boy's childishness. But the error is here in this last part, because the mother, tired of being her son's maid, wants to pass the problem on to her daughter-in-law.

Luis Navarro it's Neide's youngest who doesn't see any problem in staying at the hem of mom's skirt / Reproduction

Normally, the vision of a mother-in-law that we have is the image of the person responsible for making the life of the daughter-in-law or son-in-law the one who is responsible for making the couple break up, see the 2005 feature, starring Jennifer Lopez. However, as a society, we must realize that not every mother-in-law is a pain in the ass. They are women who want to have their own life and that includes sex, fun, freedom, independence and even another love relationship if the previous one didn't work out. The point is that every mother doesn't want her child to suffer, but there is a line between reality and fantasy. No wife – what an absurd idea the world has of going on calling a woman a woman when she gets married and the man becomes a husband or husband, as if it were a step higher, you know?! – home to be a “mother” to a husband. Therefore, many women are tired and disappointed with the sexist behavior not only of men, but also of mothers who think that the daughter-in-law should be the mirror, the faithful copy of the mother-in-law, but that is not the case.

But the biggest problem of production weighs in here, because despite being welcoming and kind in relation to differences, questionable attitudes insist on being reproduced here as molding an employee to the child's tastes. She will not have preferences within this relationship and the change, unfortunately, is cruel, as she must be beautiful, honest and good at cooking, after all, the "leitinho" needs to be ready for and the way the boy likes. And the girl accepts without contesting or complaining, because Neide is being so good to her. Will be? Another part of the problem is that this kid hasn't grown up? Can't someone who already works get up and make their own coffee without screaming at the mother who is still sleeping? Until when will he be treated like a babe in arms? This mentality of a man who has not yet grown up is bizarre. That's why there are many "big guys" slack and lazy and yes, it's the mother's fault. Guys, whoever has a bearded child is a cat.

We realized that during the young woman's training, other aspects can be identified as abuse of power, gossip and labor exploitation in the relationship between the two, where the "perfect mother-in-law" teaches the matuta girl to become the docile servant maid with the symbolic title of daughter in law. So the freedom she enjoys so much is ineffective, as she reproduces and perpetuates sexist attitudes within the home. Something appalling is the sponsors' marketing, which becomes more aggressive than if it were on banners on the internet, as happened with the various scenes in which a shampoo brand appears, in addition to a meat brand. Okay, the sponsor is paying, but advertising shouldn't be part of the feature. Advertising is one thing and cinema is another. The result is something embarrassing.

Marketing was very aggressive / Reproduction

One more negative point is the text's insistence on inserting jokes all the time and at inappropriate times or when they don't fit. There's no need to extract a laugh at any cost, and the script's inefficiency appeals almost as if it's begging, not really valuing situations that are really funny. In addition to the absurd scenes that do not make sense, such as a computer crash that has no effect and is not resumed later, or popcorn popping is confused with shots in a badly tied sequence with zero coherence. Aside from the “surprise” participations like the presence of Fábio Junior, the gossip neighbor or the tough brunette does everything.

Aesthetically, the feature is not surprising in making more mistakes. The assembly has a rush that runs over everything. Speeds up cuts causing the action's impact to be lost. Right after Ciléia's introduction to Fábio Júnior, the mother pushes the girl to her fourth child and upon hearing some laughter and other sounds, she deduces that the girl is already having a sexual relationship with her son - another mistake that is impossible to explain . The passage of time here doesn't work either, the script had the nerve to be lazy. To give the impression that time is ticking, the sweetheart couple celebrate each month they are together in the following way: “Happy two months!”, “Happy three months!” in an amusement park, suggesting the time jump without working the photography so that it really conveys that feeling of time. As far as one thing goes, the choice of soundtrack isn't nearly as bad as the context of the movie. But only this.

Lastly, the perfect mother-in-law delivers reasonably if you're not a demanding spectator. Without many good dialogues, with questionable conflicts, a certain malice in delivering a false deconstruction of values, the film is free of reactions, consequences, good resolutions. The plot ended well, but that wasn't quite what was expected. The feeling that the film conveys is that its audience is ignorant to the point of not realizing that such a work , as the production has a simplistic mooring and could have been inspired by a more revolutionary reading as the good wife, for example. Raising an interesting subject such as the stereotyped image of the mother-in-law, Long has a long way to go if it is to generate significant changes in the issue of machismo and domestication of women to the detriment of the whims of men.



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