15 Uplifting single mother movies that’ll have you fist pumping

Single mother movies

Getting settled for a movie night but can’t decide what to watch? Be inspired and feel proud with one of these brilliant single mother movies.

QUESTION: Why do these movies portray single mums as such resilient, strong, capable women?

ANSWER: Because we are.

Enjoy ladies!

Further reading: Our favourite celebrity single mums (with quotes).

Further reading: 20 Signs that you're a damn good parent.

15 Uplifting single mother movies that’ll have you fist pumping

1. Little Man Tate

When it comes to single mother movies, Little Man Tate is an oldie but a goodie. A child prodigy complicates single parenthood for mum Dede (Jodie Foster), who tries to bring up her genius child while struggling with her own issues.

Little Man Tate | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Jodie Foster
Other famous peeps: Harry Connick Jr., Dianne Wiest
Movie genre: Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG

2. Jerry Maguire

Single mum Dorothy Boyd (Renée Zellweger) is the only person who believes in independent sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise), recently stripped off his elite status, big name clients and huge paycheck. Dorothy helps Jerry rebuild what he once had and finds love in the process.

Jerry Maguire | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Renée Zellweger
Other famous peeps: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr.
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated R for strong language and sexuality.

3. One Fine Day

If you’re looking for single mother movies that working mums can relate to, watch One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Clooney. Both single parents, these two get tangled up one stressful day in New York City and nothing is ever the same again.

One Fine Day | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Michelle Pfeiffer
Other famous peeps: George Clooney, Robert Redford
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG

4. It’s Complicated

It’s Complicated is one of those single mother movies about two exes who reconnect after a number of years. Meryl Streep and ex-husband Alec Baldwin meet at their son’s graduation and realise they still have feelings for each other. But he’s remarried and she’s dating someone else.

It's Complicated | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Meryl Streep
Other famous peeps: Alec Baldwin
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated R

5. Single Mums Club

Five struggling single mums decide to form a support group to find laughter and inspiration. Coming from different backgrounds, the women in this film come together and deal with life’s obstacles in a highly relatable way. Perfect watching for when you feel down in the dumps.

The Single Moms Club | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Nia Long
Other famous peeps: Amy Smart, Wendi McLendon-Covey
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG-13

Powerful single mum movies (cont.)

6. Mamma Mia

We love a good musical. This one is about a young woman who is about to get married and wants to find her real father. But even her mum (Meryl Streep) is not sure. Sing along to ABBA’s hits and enjoy the scenery in this beautiful film set on a Greek Island.

Mamma Mia | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Meryl Streep
Other famous peeps: Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan
Movie genre: Comedy, Musical
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG-137. The Babadook

7. The Mother

The Mother | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Darkly empowering, The Mother is a thriller-action film that explores the depth of a mother's love- even when that mother has a questionable code of ethics and living situation. When the lead character, a hardened assassin, suddenly finds her child endangered because of the complexities of her occupation, she faces the ultimate test.

Starring as the single mother: Jennifer Lopez
Other famous peeps: Omari Hardwick, Joseph Fiennes, Gael Garcia Bernal
Movie genre: Thriller, Action
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated R for violence, language, and brief drug use.

8. Mrs. Doubtfire

Our list of single mother movies won’t be complete without the classic Mrs. Doubtfire. Struggling actor Daniel (Robin Williams) recently split with his wife Miranda and he can’t see his kids as often as he wants. When Miranda puts up an ad for a nanny, Daniel disguises himself as a British housekeeper.

Mrs. Doubtfire | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Sally Field
Other famous peeps: Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG -13

9. Where The Heart Is

Pregnancy is difficult enough, but when you are seventeen years old it can feel like the end of the world. After being abandoned at a Walmart by her boyfriend and with only five dollars to her name, Novalee (Natalie Portman) has to learn to rebuild her life with a newborn in tow.

Where the Heart Is | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Natalie Portman
Other famous peeps: Ashley Judd, Stockard Channing
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG-13

10. Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich is an unemployed single mum who is desperate for a job. When she lands one as a secretary in a law firm, she finds herself up against a multibillion-dollar corporation that’s accused of poisoning the local water supply. An inspiring film about guts and how far it can take you.

Erin Brockovich

Starring as the single mother: Julia Roberts
Other famous peeps: Albert Finney, David Brisbin
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated R

Brilliant films about single mothers (cont.)

11. Mermaids

Mermaids is one of those single mother movies that’s perfect if you are a solo parent of teenagers. In this quirky tale set in 1963, Mrs. Flax drags her angsty daughter to a small town in Massachusetts to start over again after yet another failed relationship.

Mermaids | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Cher
Other famous peeps: Bob Hoskins, Winona Ryder
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG-13

12. Enough Said

If you’re an older single mum dreading an empty nest, Enough Said is a gem of a movie. Eva is a masseuse whose daughter is about to leave home. Eva meets a funny, like-minded man, but his ex (also Eva’s client) is badmouthing him all the time so she starts to doubt her new relationship.

Enough Said | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Other famous peeps: James Gandolfini, Toni Collette
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG-13

13. The Florida Project

The Florida Project is a beautiful and raw exposition drama about families who live below the poverty line in the shadow of the 'Happiest Place on Earth'. The film follows adorable and mischievous Moonee, a six year-old girl who is being raised by her young mum and looked out for by the kind motel manager. It takes us on an arresting visual journey of one hot Florida summer as Moonee learns how to dream while explores the neighbourhood which is steeped in harsh realities during.

The Florida Project | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Bria Vinaite
Other famous peeps: Willem Dafoe
Movie genre: Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated R for language, violence, sexual references and some drug material.

14. Tumbleweeds

Many single mums will relate to the struggle of a woman who drags her 12-year-old daughter from place to place to escape past boyfriends. The two arrive in a new town that promises to be different from all the others. The mom starts dating a trucker while the daughter adjusts to her new school.

Tumbleweeds | Single Mother Movies | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Janet McTeer
Other famous peeps: Jay O. Sanders, Kimberly J. Brown
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG-13

15. Maid In Manhattan

In the mood for feel good single mother movies? Maid in Manhattan is a must see. In this Cinderella story set in New York, J. Lo stars as a hotel maid who gets mistaken for a socialite by a handsome politician when she tries on another woman’s dress.

Maid in Manhattan | Beanstalk Mums

Starring as the single mother: Jennifer Lopez
Other famous peeps: Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson
Movie genre: Comedy, Drama
Can I watch this with my kids: Rated PG-13

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Beanstalk Single Mum Team

About the author

Beanstalk is run by a team of single mums who share their expertise about single motherhood to help other women on a similar journey to them. This article was written from experience and with love to help single mothers in Australia and across the world.

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