Advertising is like walking a tightrope—or smoking a cigarette while your office slowly fills with water. In short, it is a harrowing, harrowing business—especially movie advertising. Consider, for example, movie posters. On the one hand, you want the poster to give the viewer enough information to make them want to see the movie, but on the other hand, you don't want to give so much away about the movie that seeing it becomes unnecessary. The result? Sometimes you end up with a movie poster like this one:
This poster is way too vague! Judging by this poster, Motherhood could either be one of two things:
1. An eleven-zanies-per-minute romp about how mommies be needin' some help because raising kids is so gross and messy and you kind of lose your identity which is hilarious, am I right? Or
2. A thriller about a feisty red-headed mom who is kidnapped (the irony!), gagged with a pacifier, and held captive in a makeshift "nursery" painted an eye-searing shade of insanity yellow.
The tagline "There are no time-outs in motherhood" could go either way as well. Clearly, the marketers of Motherhood are having trouble conveying a movie this layered, this nuanced in the limited space of a one-sheet. This poster is far too subtle.
Thankfully, though, there is no subtlety whatsoever in foriegn markets—where the movie Frailty can become No One Is Safe (Italy), where Mean Girls can somehow morph into Lolita In Spite Of Me (France), and where Death To Smoochy can unnecessarily be transformed into Eliminate Smoochy (Italy).
Apparently, in Spanish-speaking markets, Motherhood is A Mother In Hardships, which definitely clears things up. Then there's the foriegn poster, which leaves absolutely no motherhood cliché unphotoshopped in:
Mama really needs una vacacion! Strangely, there are no children to be seen, but she's got the dishes under the laundry near that muffin to do, a plastic bag full of tupperware to organize, and she has to push herself around in a stroller while clutching her laptop and wearing a housedress! To top it all off: her glasses just won't stay on her nose! Uma Thurman is a mama with so many hardships, and they're all hitting you repeatedly over the head.
At least now we can say with absolute certainty what this movie is about: It's a measured, character-driven drama about a mother's slow descent into madness following the death of her children. Either that, or it's Mad TV Sketch: The Movie.