Trading Mom, Elizabeth, Jeremy, and Harry Martin have had it with their workaholic, nagging mother and they get in trouble at school with bullies and almost smoking cigarettes. They go to this mysterious gardener named Mrs. Cavour and she tells the siblings about an ancient spell to make their mother disappear. That night they say the incantation and the next morning, they wake up and they find their mother is gone and they can’t remember anything about her. Mrs. Cavour tells the children about the Mommy Market, a place in town where they had about every mother you could think of. When they go there, the Mommy Market had a policy where you could have 3 tokens to take a mother home. If they could not find a suitable mother by their third token, they could never go back. The mothers they pick are not what they hoped for and they feel lost without someone to look after them. They wanted their very own mother to love and they must think of a memory of their own to remember her and break the spell. You can choose your pets…You can choose your friends…What if you could choose your relatives?
Trading Mom, Mrs. Martin (Sissy Spacek) is a single mother of three active children. One is almost-a-teen, Elizabeth (Anna Chlumsky), who finds mother’s orders most awful, especially the one where she can not go shopping with friends. Elizabeth’s two younger brothers are also upset that mother never has time to make pancakes but always makes time to insist on them cleaning the fish bowl and their bedrooms. Things go from bad to worse when Elizabeth is caught smoking at school and the younger boys get in a schoolyard tussle. Mom grounds them all for a month, at least. The next day, as the trio are allowed to visit a nice lady (Maureen Stapleton), who hired them to work in her garden over the summer, they learn of a magic spell which would allow them to choose a new mother from the “Mommy Market”. Acting rashly, the three of them use the enchantment and mother does indeed vanish. But, at the market, there are no really attractive mothers, so they take a chance on a French lady (also Sissy Spacek) who has a cook. She ends up being a disaster as a mom. Yet, the kids only have two more chances to pick a new parent. Will they find the mother of their misguided dreams? This is pleasant little film but nothing extraordinary. Spacek shows off her abundant talent by taking on four different roles; one of them, the outdoorsy-mom, is a scream. The children, too, are very winning and Stapleton does a fine turn, too, as the gardening friend. All of the lesser roles are fulfilled well, also. As for the looks of the movie, it is quite attractive, with fun costumes, sets, and scenery. The script and the direction are fairly well-done, too. All in all, this is a nice flick for the family on any given night. Trade in those re-runs and get this one for a “something different” night in the near future