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Case Number 26369: Small Claims Court

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Dear Mom, Love Cher

Lionsgate // 2013 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // October 6th, 2013

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All Rise...

Judge Brett Cullum turns back time to see a baby without tattoos on her backside.

The Charge

Like the daughter? Then you will like the mother!

The Case

Cher is a legendary icon of pop music and movies with a staggering career that has carried the star from her teens well into her sixties (and surely all signs point to beyond). All along the way, she seems to stay ageless while finding ways to reinvent herself time and again.

You might wonder what kind of family dynamic could produce such a fierce fabulous diva with a never-say-die attitude. Dear Mom, Love Cher gives us quite a few answers as it shows what is largely a three-way conversation between Cher, mom Georgia Holt, and sister Georganne LaPiere Bartylak all cozying up in Cher's Malibu mansion. They talk about life growing up with a mom who married six times, and what it was like to be raised by a woman who only dreamt of being a big star while trying to take care of two girls.

Cher's career is something her mother dreamed about all her life, and even at 86 is still chasing. You see, this whole documentary is also a commercial for Georgia's solo album that was recorded in her fifties, but then shelved until recently. Cher is no dummy, and knows that the world just might embrace her mother's pluck and desire to become a media figure at an age when most people's parents are holed up on a beach in Florida.

This DVD contains the documentary, which is also airing on the Lifetime network. It is a slick piece of work with the aforementioned threesome, old family movies, highlights from talk shows, and a handful of interviews with Cher's kids Chaz and Elijah Blue. The visual quality is great and only gets dicey as archival material is used. Stereo mix is fine since most of this is dialogue and some music interspersed with everything. The extra is a 20-minute "home video" which is really just a rough cut that Cher must have done a year prior to this one. It is a little rougher, but also contains footage of mother and daughter singing (or lip synching?) together in a home studio.

Cher fans are going to eat this up, because it's a rare glimpse into her private life and a peek back into the singer's childhood. It's fascinating from that perspective, and it creates a little more lore for a legend. Georgia Holt herself looks young and vibrant for an 85-year-old, making it apparent where Cher's fountain of youth starts. Plastic surgeons aside, this family is defying aging at a staggering rate. Georgia says it's because they all three refuse to completely grow up.

Admittedly Dear Mom, Love Cher is a cash grab meant to pique interest in an album that most people wouldn't buy without a story behind it. Luckily the story is interesting enough to stand on its own. It's a tale about a woman who moves to Hollywood with dreams of being a big star, and has to live it all out in her daughter, who eclipses every fantasy she ever had. If we live through our children, then Georgia Holt is living larger than any of us, and this documentary is proof. At 86, she still clamors for the applause, and one can imagine her daughter will do the same.

The Verdict

Guilty of being a mother and daughter lovefest that won't ever grow old or wrinkle.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 84

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Footage


• IMDb

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