PADDINGTON is in theaters NOW!

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I loved the books and even had the Paddington stuffed bear when I was little. Now in theatres, from the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (HARRY POTTER), PADDINGTON tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole Kidman.
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Check out this new exclusive video right HERE!

Exclusive Interview with the Cast of Night at the Museum

NATM3.jpgI recently had the opportunity to watch a sneak preview of the third installment of “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” and am happy to report, I laughed, I cried and came away really excited to take my kids and my husband to see it. You see, we are die hard ‘Night at the Museum’ fans, having seen the very first film when Ben Stiller first starred as Larry, a single dad who can’t seem to find a steady job until he takes a position as a security guard at the Museum of Natural History and the exhibits miraculously come to life during the night.
The first edition of ‘Night of the Museum’ turned my whole family into believers. The second installment which featured Jonah Hill and took moviegoers into the mysteries of the Smithsonian had us laughing from the moment we took our seats. But the third and perhaps final installment may be the best since it touches upon elements in my own life that really hit home on a number of levels and features a touching scene with Robin Williams that will absolutely have you reaching for kleenex towards the end of the film.
Get ready for the wildest and most adventure-filled Night At the Museum ever as Larry (Ben Stiller) spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever. Two incredible new additions this year include Rebel Wilson as a British security guard who will have you laughing out loud and Dan Stevens, who portrays Sir Lancelot who is on a lifelong quest to find his Guenevere — trust me, the scene with Hugh Jackman (who plays himself in the film) and Dan Stevens is priceless.
“Night at the Museum features an all star cast including Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Dick Van Dyke, Dan Stevens, Ricky Gervais, Ben Kingsley, Rebel Wilson, Mickey Rooney (in one of his final film roles), and Rami Malek. Two things that resonated with me was the connection Larry had with his college bound son who is actually a little kid when the film first started. As his son tries to assert his independence and defer college for a year, Larry is not too happy with his decision and instead takes him along on an adventure to the British museum in London where he discovers how amazing his dad’s night job really is and even gets the chance to save him with the help of Sir Lancelot, played by the incredibly talented and comedic Dan Stevens.
But what really affected me while watching the film was seeing Robin Williams, who reprised his role as Teddy Roosevelt and shared an incredibly touching scene with Larry towards the end of the film that will absolutely have the audience reduced to tears. When I got to attend a private roundtable event with the cast and producer Shawn Levy, we found out more about that touching scene and what made Robin Williams so incredibly special as well as a behind the scenes story about the actor’s incredible comedic talents. Take a look….
The Culture Mom: The movie turned out to be a fantastic tribute to Robin Williams. I’m sure for all of us it really–it was such a touching tribute to him. And I was wondering what it was like for each of you to work with him and how the death was more meaningful to you in light of the fact that you just worked together?
NIght-At-The-Museum-Secret-Of-The-Tomb.jpgShawn Levy: Well, first of all, thank you because obviously this was Robin’s last movie. So, it was really important to all of us and certainly to me in the editing room every day to have it be, as you say, a fitting and loving kind of piece of his legacy.
So, I’m glad that you felt that it had accomplished that. We finished shooting this movie less than three months before he passed. And he did some voice work for me a month before his death. In fact, you know that little Garuda statue in the movie, that’s Robin.
Robin saw that picture on my laptop. And he said that guy’s cute. What’s he? And I said, oh, he’s this statue in the British Museum. I want to bring him to life.
And he goes, well, he looks kind of mischievous. Let me take a whack at that, huh? And it wasn’t his job, it wasn’t planned. And he just recorded an entire language for that little Garuda.
That was kind of emblematic of this guy who was certainly a grown man, but very much still a boy with all the playful spirit of that. And so, it was a horrible day when we heard. And it’s been a rough few months since. And there’s kind of no positive spin on that.
But I certainly am very, very grateful that I got the experience of being friendly with him and being collaborative with him.
Question: Making the third movie in a franchise is always a tricky thing. What made you guys decide to come on board?
Owen Wilson: Well, we had a story that I think also you know when we made the first one I don’t think any of us expected it to get the reception that it did and for people to enjoy it as much as they did.
And so, then that obviously leads to, well, you know, make another one. And we did. And I think we all enjoyed making both of them.
But I think it was important with this one, the third one, to kind of try to figure out a way to tell it in an interesting way that wouldn’t just be, okay, now we’re going to a new museum that’s dealing with kind of letting go and some of the more poignant themes that are in the movie, but also hopefully still entertaining people and people having a good time.
And, yes, I think we did it.
Question: Going to a museum is such a classic weekend activity with the kids or the family. What is your favorite weekend activity with your kids or your family members? What is the thing that you would enjoy doing the most?
Ben Stiller: Well, I like taking my kids to museums and things like that. But they don’t love it. I would do that every weekend. My kids really love to just hang out at the house and play. I mean I love to watch movies with my kids. But they don’t love that much either.
I say, do you want to watch a movie? He’s like, no, I want to play. I’m like, all right. You want to be creative and actually come up with your own stuff? You don’t want to just sit and stare at a screen?
But they really do love to just hang out. And we don’t think about it. But they do have a lot of pressure going to school and after school activities and things like that. They really appreciate having that free time when they have it.
And then, what’s great is that things then if we’re just hanging out at the house over the weekend, the things that develop, what you get into, whether it’s going outside and playing baseball or something or going inside and just playing, you know, something that they’re into.
Maybe I might not necessarily be into in the beginning. But then you get into it with them. And then it’s great because it leads to something else. And that’s the best really.
Fortunately for me, I have a son who loves to hang out on the couch and watch movies and best of all, I’ll be taking him to see Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb when it opens in theaters this Friday, December 19. Trust me when I tell you, you will fall in love with the Night at the Museum franchise all over again! Check out the trailer below and mark your calendar for this must see holiday movie of the year!

Penguins of Madagascar

Written by Role Mommy Wing Mom, Danielle Feigenbaum and Role Mommy Kid Reporters

Thumbnail image for POM-1Sht.jpg Penguins of Madagascar are back in their very own feature film – coming to theaters this Thanksgiving, November 26th! My lucky kids had a chance to meet THE Penguins (Skipper, Kowalski, Rico & Private), get a penguin painted on their face, feed some real penguins and get a sneak peek at the Penguins of Madagascar movie! This super fun day at The Bronx Zoo, courtesy of DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox, had my kids dancing with penguins, coloring, riding the merry-go-round, eating yummy food and sporting some 3-D glasses for a special screening. The reviews are in, both kids give it two enthusiastic thumbs up!
A little bit about the film… Super spy teams aren’t born…they’re hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, voiced by John Malkovich, from destroying the world as we know it. The movie Stars the voices of – Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and John Malkovich.
According to my kid reporters… “The characters were all lovable and adorable, even the evil ones. A couple of jokes went a little over our heads, but all the grown ups seemed to get them and laughed really hard. There is also a nice lesson to be learned, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Everyone should go see this movie over Thanksgiving weekend.”
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Check out the trailer here, and discover the untold story of these hilarious penguins on November 26th at a theater near you!

The Best of Me

Written by Rolemommy contributor, Kristin Flannery.
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Ever wonder what it would be like to reconnect with your long, lost love? I have to say that this Rolemommy contributor found out but alas we figured out why it didn’t work in the first place. This wasn’t the case with Nicholas Spark’s THE BEST OF ME which opens in theaters on Friday October 17, 2014.
Rolemommy sat down with the films stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan to find out what it was like during filming and if they ever found their own lost loves.
This isn’t the first time that James Marsden has been in a Nicholas Sparks movie (he played the ditched fiance in The Notebook) so we were wondering if he was promised a happy ending…
James Marsden filled us in “Yes, he’s a sadistic, isn’t he? Oh, I have to be careful. You’re recording this. I didn’t mean that, Nick. Which is going to be a slow progression over the next 10 years, when I’m in the next Nicholas Sparks movie.Something else is going to happen right before I get the girl. No, I didn’t actually meet Nicholas until “The Notebook” premiere. So, he’s obviously is a presence in these movies. But, when we’re out there filming the scenes and working with Michael (director Michael , it’s pretty much just us.” Michelle Monaghan thinks “he is writing the next 10 books, basically, while we’re out shooting.”
We thought that this one was the most violent Nicholas Sparks movie, book, that we have seen yet so we wondered how was it on the set.
James Marsden confessed “It’s pretty intense. I mean, I know that Luke got the brunt of all of that, and dealt with that more than I did, except that I, you know, I’m sort of the product of that down the line. But, I think, there’s an edge to this movie. And his upbringing, love and someone defining that for him at a young age was very absent in his upbringing. And so, that’s what I think when he meets Amanda. It’s like he comes alive, you know. It’s the first time he’s ever felt these emotions for somebody else, and what it feels like to be cared for and to care for somebody else. It was a very serious thing that he was dealing with, and in having an abusive father.”
It’s a really nice story, I think, as somebody in middle age to see you come back and you have a second chance in there. And are there anything that you guys would want to have second chances at now in your life?
Michelle Monaghan believes “It’s funny because you can sort of look at your life and go, “Okay. Well, maybe I would have made a different decision,” or something like that. But, I guess regrets are kind of hard because every single one that I’ve made, whether they’ve been good or bad, they’ve informed my life in some way. So, I can’t say, “Oh, dear, that was maybe not the right thing to do.” But, I learned something from it, or I have grown from that. And I think that’s where people in general just grow.”
We wondered have you really been in this kind of love, like in this love, because it’s lovely to see these kind of movies, but thinking in real life?
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James Marsden replies “Not everybody is lucky enough to find it. I like these characters so much in this movie because there’s so much goodness about them, and they’re so unselfish with the love that they give to one another and how they show it. And I think you can better your chances at maybe finding that by nurturing it as well. It’s not just like love at first sight, and the universe has these two people. And then, for some reason, just them, they’re the only ones allowed to experience it. I think that it’s what they do with their initial reaction to one another and how they treat one another that it’s that that love is then nurtured, and then it becomes that sort of timeless love, I think.
In closing we wondered if they found those emotional moments a lot when they were filming, where you were so drawn into it that you were off-set or on-set like–.
Michelle Monaghan believes “Yes. Well, I think that’s the beauty of these sorts of films, it’s like a privilege to be able to go there, because I think we’re so used to shooting a lot of films, like James was saying yesterday, there’s a lot of bells and whistles, and a lot of special effects and things like that. And this really is just about the emotion. And it’s about these scenes. So, you’re invested in these characters, and you really want to bring as much emotional truth as you can to it. And so, James and I, along with Michael, we really spent a lot of time in creating this emotional arc, and making sure that it made sense, and that it was truthful and based in reality, and it was grounded, and that the emotional responses were earned and deserved. There is joy behind heartache. That is so Nicholas Sparks. There really is joy behind heartache.”
Don’t miss Nicholas Sparks’ THE BEST OF ME in theaters October 17th and for more information follow them on twitter at #thebestofme.
Check out the special trailer here.

Earth To Echo Brings Me Back To My Childhood

By Role Mommy contributor, Kristin Torgen Flannery


Rolemommy sat down with some of the key players of Earth to Echo to find out some of the secrets of the set. We sat down with Dave Green (Director), Andrew Panay (Producer/Co-Story Writer), and Henry Gayden (Screenwriter and Co-Story Writer) to discuss a return to the movies we watched as children, newer shooting styles and a great young cast. 

The cast was made up of some newer actors (Brian “Astro” Bradley, Teo Halm, Reese Hartwig and Ella Whalestedt) and they were really adorable and had such good chemistry.  So, how was the casting process?  

Andrew Panay explained that the casting process was tough and the turn around was even harder  “We weren’t panicked at all.  We’re like, “We’re shooting in five days and have no cast.” I remember we were looking for authenticity. We also believe that we casted these kids because they felt real.  You know, the whole point of the movie is to speak to the next generation of kids, right, and for parents like you guys and for our age, to hearken back to some of the movies (E.T. and Goonies) that we used to see when we were growing up kind of thing.”

Dave Green took us through the process  “When we got them all together in the room for the first time, I just told each of them–’cause there’s a lot of pressure when you’re auditioning, and there’s a camera and there’s strangers and it’s just a little weird. So, when I first got the group of the four of them, I said, “You’ve each been chosen because you’re all awesome, and you’re all very special and you’re all wildly talented.  And I want you all to feel super comfortable on the set and you should have the freedom to just tell me, I’m the storyteller and I’m not telling the story that way.”

The film is shot in such a way that you believe the kids in the movie are filming themselves but when we asked where the camera was, we were impressed to find out it was the same type of camera used to shoot big budget movie.

Dave Green revealed “It was a big camera. It’s a Red camera.  It’s what they shoot all the 3D movies on.  So, it was actually an old person behind the camera for the whole time. There is no difference.  It’s all manipulation. Except the first scene with Tuck where he’s doing the confessional at home, and then the scene Munch [Reese Hartwig] is in the truck.  Those are both on the iPhone.


When we sat in the theater with our children watching Earth to Echo, we couldn’t help but think back to the first time we sat in the theater as a child ourselves as E.T. played on the big screen. That is exactly what the Earth To Echo team was hoping for.

Andrew Panay elaborated “I wouldn’t call this movie a kids’ movie.  I think it’s unfair.  I think the movie’s a family movie, and I think every family has moments where the door gets shut and your daughter or son is crying, and that’s just the bottom line.  I mean, if that’s not going on in your family, I want to live with you, you know? 

Everybody has experienced the pain of when a childhood friend moves away and it’s heartbreaking.  We were wondering when they wrote the original screenplay, did they decide that they still would move apart?

Andrew Panay concluded  “Is like, you know, we say that–when we mean not be superheroes, we mean, like, flying in the air, but as far as human superheroes, emotional superheroes, a hundred percent.  That’s what the movie is about.  The movie’s about it does take superhuman strength to say goodbye or overcome, like, a night like that or know that, if you’re small, you can overcome something so big.”

Earth to Echo is in theaters beginning July 2nd and it is a movie you don’t want to miss.



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RIO 2! In Theaters This Friday

Written by Role Mommy’s Danielle Feigenbaum

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The delightful cast of RIO is back in the hilarious, fun-filled sequel, RIO 2 that will have you dancing in your seats. Whether you see it in 3-D or not, you will be swept away by the amazing scenery and be transported to the Amazon.
My husband, kids (ages 10 and 7) and I were lucky enough to see an advanced screening of the film and attend an awesome RIO 2 pool party! First, I want to tell you about the movie, then we’ll get to the party. RIO 2 finds Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their three kids leaving their domesticated life in that magical city for a journey to the Amazon. They encounter a menagerie of characters who are born to be wild, voiced by Oscar nominee Andy Garcia, Oscar/Emmy/Tony-winner Rita Moreno, Grammy winner Bruno Mars, and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth.
My kids have been listening to the soundtrack from the film every single day, dancing around the house. They know every word by heart, and so do I. Take a listen to one of the fantastic tracks… “What is Love” Lyrics Video by Janelle Monáe
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After the screening, we headed next door to Le Parker Meridien Hotel for the rocking pool party! Waiting on the elevator line the woman in front of us (who happened to be Natalie Morales from NBC News and is the voice of the reporter in the movie) was chatting with my kids about their favorite part of the movie. She was really sweet. Once inside the party room we felt like we were in the jungle of the amazon. I try not to get star struck but when Edie Falco is on one side of you with her kids and Jeffrey Tambor is on the other side, it’s hard not to smile from ear to ear.
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We enjoyed yummy food and great music. There were Brazilian dancers with beautiful, colorful, feathery costumes! We got on the dance floor and did a little samba/salsa type of dancing. Then the kids changed into their suits and had a blast swimming (any time my kids can swim in NY when it’s not the summer, they are psyched!) The pool was filled with beach balls and pool noodles and the DJ was playing all the songs from the two RIO movies. It was paradise and we completely forgot that we were on the top floor of an NYC hotel.
There were so many fun memories from the day, but I think my daughter (who LOVES to play the piano and has been playing since she was six) meeting the crazy-talented Alicia Keys was a major highlight! She was so incredibly nice and even posed for a picture with my daughter, which is now a treasured keepsake.
Here are the kids with one of the nicest Directors around, Carlos Saldanha. Not to mention super talented! He took some time to chat with my kids about the movie. How cool is that?
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We all really enjoyed this movie. Everyone should take the family to see it this weekend. It opens nationwide this Friday, April 11th! And trust me, you will want to download the soundtrack as well so you too can have nightly dance parties!
RIO 2 stars the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Will i am, Jemaine Clement, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, George Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro, Andy Garcia, Rita Moreno, Natalie Morales, Kristin Chenoweth, and Jamie Foxx.
Connect with RIO 2 Online – #Rio2
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The Book Thief

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Kristin Flannery

The Book Thief, based on the beloved bestselling novel, is a deeply , moving movie which tells the inspiring story of a spirited and courageous young girl named Liesel, who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany. Rolemommy sat down with Director Brian Percival (best known for directing PBS’ Downton Abbey) and Author Markus Zusak to discuss taking a novel to film.
The story and its characters sprang from the imagination of author Markus Zusak
whose novel The Book Thief was published in his native Australia in 2005 and throughout the rest of the world in 2006. The book has sold eight million copies worldwide, held a place on The New York Times best-seller list for almost seven years and has been translated into over 30 languages. Rolemommy correspondent, Kristin Flannery, was actually introduced to the novel by her niece when she read it in high school on her reading list. So we were wondering, how does an author write such an incredible book and how does he channel the character of death?
Markus opened up to us about how listening to his parents’ stories helped him create such rich characters, “I don’t know to tell you the truth. I don’t know anything anymore. I think a different version of me wrote that book. I couldn’t write it again now. To me, it all started with my childhood, growing up in Sydney, beautiful sunshine. And then, you come in and it’s like a piece of Europe came into our house, and my parents told their stories, and they’re amazing stories about cities that were burning, kids who were giving bread to prisoners on their way to camps and getting whipped for it and so on. I grew up hearing these stories over and over again.”
Being a parent means that you take a different look at your own parents’ history and how they lived. Markus believes, “Just, don’t be afraid to tell the stories again and again and again, because I’ve realized now that my mom is 76-years-old and she still cleans people’s houses for a living. My dad was a housepainter and he still paints. He painted my house. He didn’t do a very good job the last time. His eyes are getting a bit shot. But that’s funny, a housepainter, a housecleaner, and there they were telling me their stories of growing up and I realized they weren’t only telling me about their lives. They were teaching me how to write. Talk about you would never imagine that people in those professions would give you a career in literature, but that’s exactly how I grew up.”
Being a Director on a film based off of a novel has it’s challenges, what do you keep in and what gets cut? Director Brian Percival took us through the process, “Well, you know, a lot of decisions had been done already by the time I got this because the screenplay had been in existence for about six to seven years before the time was right to make it because it was done quite early on. For the producers it was a labor of love. It really was. It was a very important project to them, and they were emotionally attached to it. And so, the time was right for them to make it and fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time. I read the screenplay, and I’d never ever read anything like it. I wasn’t–shamefully I wasn’t aware of the book. I stayed up really late. I was shooting something else, and I stayed up really late one night and then finished at 1:30 in the morning and just e-mailed off to Los Angeles and said, “You know, if I don’t do anything else in my life, I’ve got make this film.” So a lot of those decisions had been made. When it actually comes to make the film, obviously I get pictures in my head of how I want it to look, but we’ve got a 580 page guidebook on how to make the film. We never really wanted to come away from Markus’ vision and his message. We just wanted it to reach a wide variety and to be in a different medium.”
There’s some really beautiful contrasts in the movie. Like, there’s that scene where–the choir scene–and they all look so angelic and they’re so proud. Then they start sort of the second verses, and they’re horrible. Was there a scene anytime in the shooting where you kind of felt this is it, this is the most surreal?
Brian reflected, “No. I mean, not particular. See, the film is full of contrast. That was always my intention. But you see the innocence of those children. They’re singing something so proudly that they think is so beautiful. And then, you see–we’re given the brutality of the truth of what actually happened. But there’s contrast right the way through. When you see Rudy in a Nazi uniform, part of you is saying, “Oh, what a cute kid,” and the other part’s going, “Oh, he’s–but he’s becoming a Nazi.” In a lot of films Nazis are always being portrayed as generally I think one dimensional. They’re evil guys with the blonde hair and the chiseled jaw or whatever. And we get the teacher that comes to take Rudy to the camp for elite training. He looks incredibly tough, but he’s actually a bit stupid. There were always things in there that I tried to create contrasts and that was the important thing to me. I had to work on more than one level so that we would see something and then we would actually question it.”
You know that a novel is amazing when you are sad at the end because you want to know more. Did the story end for you at the end of book or do you know what happened to all the characters after? Do you know how Liesel finds growing up and what Max did for a living?
book thief author and director.JPG Turns out that we are not the only ones who want to know what happens beyond the pages. Markus has fans all over the world, “Someone came up to me. A few people have said, “I really wanted to know what happened between them. I feel like I just cut to the end of her life.” I’m like, “How long did you want the book to be?” It’s like 500 pages. Just make me write another 3,000 pages while we’re at it. So, I always imagine that Max goes his way and Liesel goes her way, but they have this kindred relationship their whole lives, but that is just me. Everyone else has their own take, but I have several reasons why.”
Even Director Brian Percival has his thoughts on the ending, “That’s part of the beauty of it for me is that we leave the reader or the audience to make up their own mind and that’s ultimately satisfying.”
Book Thief can be seen currently in theaters but to see more clips and information, log on to

Spend Your Holiday Movie Viewing on the Couch

Netflix_Web_Logo (1).jpgRecently, I was given the opportunity to become a Netflix Stream Team member. What does that mean you ask? Simple. After being sent a complimentary Apple TV video streaming device and a year membership to Netflix, I set up my TV, clicked the remote and took a trip down memory lane.
What I love most about Netflix is that I can watch TV shows and films from my past and then, after I’ve watched “The Breakfast Club” or “Pretty and Pink,” they actually start recommending films to me that I might be interested in.
My kids have also been bitten by the NetFlix bug. My daughter has been watching episodes of “Gossip Girl” non stop and I actually got my son hooked on one of my favorite shows of all time, “The Wonder Years.”
Sprinkled into the mix are also a few blockbusters that we’ve watched with my husband like “An Officer and a Gentleman,” and tear jerkers too including “Terms of Endearment” and a film with Kate Hudson that had me crying for nearly an hour called “A Little Bit of Heaven.” My daughter and I have already watched that one twice!
Now that the holidays are upon us, Netflix also has a ton of offerings for families with kids of all ages. Visit the Netflix website for the latest holiday movies offered this time of year. For younger kids, you can even find a host of films you can all sing-a-long with…just take a look!
There really is something for everyone with Netflix – so before you head out to the movies, spend an evening in with your family, take a walk down memory lane or get caught up on your favorite shows. No matter how you slice it, watching Netflix with your family is pure couch potato heaven.
Disclosure: I was provided with a free Apple TV and complimentary membership to Netflix. All opinions are strictly my own.

Free Birds: Role Mommy Interviews Amy Poehler

Written by Role Mommy contributor, Kristin Flannery.

photo (4).JPG Rolemommy sat down with Amy Poehler to discuss her new animated movie, Freebirds, in theaters on November 1st. We talked turkey, what it was like playing the straight man and every mom’s worst nightmare… Forgetting where you are driving to.
Free Birds is the story of two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks who must put aside their differences and travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good. Before Reggie and Jake become a main course at Standish’s dinner, they are rescued by Jenny (Amy Poehler), the beautiful and fierce daughter of the Wild Turkeys’ Chief Broadbeak (Keith David). Jenny leads the pair to the edge of the forest where the rest of her flock is hiding from the Pilgrims. Jake must teach the wild flock about the future and rally support for his mission to change history, but Reggie is apparently on a mission of the heart: falling beak-over-tail for Jenny.
Rolemommy is all about the strong woman characters and since this is something different from Amy’s usual zany characters, we asked her if it was hard for her to tone it down a little. It didn’t seem to be a problem for Amy, “she’s kind of the straight turkey in the movie. And animation’s so fun because you get to take really big jumps but you do sometimes need a force that’s grounding everything together, which I think the character Jenny is. And I didn’t really do so much of a voice in this because they really kind of wanted it to be kind of natural. But, I’ve played all different kinds of spectrum of that. So, it’s cool to actually play someone that feels like a somewhat normal animated character, if that makes sense. But, she’s also a turkey.”
Spoiler alert, Jenny turns out to be the chosen one of the tribe and we had to know how she felt being the chief, the supreme being of the movie. Always with amazing comedic timing, Amy responded “Oh, I thought you were talking to me, not my character. Yes, it feels great. What did I get chosen for? It’s cool. It’s fun to play a strong female character, natural leader, a girl who’s kind of following in her powerful father’s footsteps. It’s nice. When I read it, I was like, oh, that’s great. Unfortunately, not as typical as it should be and so it was cool to play, yes.”
Now Rolemommy wants to know more about Amy’s personal life. When asked is she had any “mom fails”‘ Amy opened up and honestly answered, “Oh, Gosh. Sometimes, I forget where I’m driving them to. That happens, right? I do just stop in the middle of the road and go, where are we going. That happens a lot.
How are we in this car, and who am I dropping off and where are we going – that happens a lot. It’s just a lot of forgetful stuff that every mother has to deal with.”
Since this fun animated film centers around one of our favorite holidays, we were curious to know if Amy had any traditions with her two young boys. When we asked her if she has made some of your own traditions, she said “I like watching movies with my kids on Thanksgiving night. That’s always a really fun thing, especially showing them a movie they’ve never seen is always really fun. Last year, we watched Willie Wonka, which was a big deal.”
So checkout Amy’s animated performance in FREE BIRDS from Relativity Media and Reel FX Animation Studios In Theaters on November 1, 2013 and to see the trailer click here
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Some of the reviews from my car after a preview screening of ONE DIRECTION:THIS IS US were “Amazing”, “I love them even more” and… “Such nice boys… their mother’s must be so proud”. Guess which one was from the mother in the car. Yes, you guessed it but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the boys in One Direction after seeing their new documentary in theaters now.
ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US is an all-access look at life on the road for the global music phenomenon. Weaved with stunning live concert footage, this inspiring feature film tells the remarkable story of Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis’ meteoric rise to fame, from their humble hometown beginnings and competing on the X-Factor, to conquering the world and performing at London’s famed O2 Arena.
My daughters were so obsessed by them that I let them go with another mom friend of mine and stand in line for hours to see them perform on the Ellen Show. They blast their music in the car, in their rooms and when walking down the street. They buy their novelty shirts, magazines about them and even write 1D on their hands. I grew up very familiar with the boy band craze and I may have even been one of those nutty fans so I figured this was just my turn to be the mother who told their daughters to stop worshiping these one hit wonders until I saw this documentary. Now I have a new found love of One Direction myself.
The film begins giving viewers a detailed account (including audition tapes) of these young singers when they auditioned for the X Factor UK version. They all got cut as solo artists but Simon Cowell brought them together with the foresight to see them as a great boy band. What surprised even Cowell was how well received they were by the fans who kept them alive in the voting until the finale when they were not crowned the winners. Probably the best loss anyone can suffer. Fans were the ones who built their awareness up by Tweeting and Social networking about them so much that they were so popular without even having an album out yet! 
Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) directed this documentary in 3D and while I could have done without that, I can still imagine the “wow” factor that even teenage girl feels as band member Harry Styles come flying out of the screen in to your lap during the concert footage. I was also a little more curious about how these boys could possibly find the time to date and while there were lots of girls crying in the audience, we did not get to see them with any girls who weren’t their moms. Speaking of moms and as a mom, I could not help but relate to one of the boy’s moms when she was traveling to their concert and lamenting that a mom should be showing her son the world but that her son was showing it to her. I couldn’t help but tear up when another spoke to his mom when she had just picked up the keys to her new house that he had purchased for her.
While I walked in to the movie a skeptic, I left there wanting to run home to purchase more One Direction music off of itunes for my “daughters”. Don’t miss ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US in theaters now.