Earlier this week, I noted that Billie had passed on that Hulu was streaming a Dyan Cannon film entitled "My Mother The Spy" (stream at link, and it's Hulu, not Hulu Plus, so there's no fee) and I thought I would cover that this week.
This film came out in 2000 and Dyan Cannon is the mother of a book editor that I'm guessing is supposed to be in her thirties. Book Editor ("BE" from this point forward) loves her mother but is bothered by the lack of follow up to promises and more that has been going on her entire life. She's also having problems with her boyfriend. The only thing that's going right is the work because she's so good at it, smart and has a good memory. We see her with the author of a spy novel and she's going over what can and won't work and he hates her before he meets her but ends up staying and listening to her critique even while disagreeing.
It's a caper film, light-hearted with a few scares but not many. It's suspenseful but not scary. Remember "Titanic"? Gloria Stuart played Kate Winslet's character in modern day? Well Stuart played Dyan's mother in the movie.
And it's BE's birthday and Gloria arranges for them to take a trip together and Dyan can't but says she wants to and makes up this obvious lie to get out of it. Not knowing her mother's a spy, BE thinks she's just blowing her off and she's really mad and even gripes at Gloria Stuart. Gloria convinces her to use the airline ticket to go to the resort which she does and bumps into Dyan in the lobby. With a man. Whom Diane passes off as a rabbi (he's a spy also).
And she and BE have words because Dyan's point (not expressed) is I'm on this danger mission to bring down this bad guy who is dealing anthrax and it is not safe for anyone but now my daughter's shown up, I need to get her out of here.
BE's point (also unexpressed) is Mother, I flew all this way, you're doing nothing at this resort but talking to a rabbi and now you won't drop that plan to go eat lunch with me? You won't even have lunch with me?
So Dyan swears they'll have dinner together and dashes off with the 'rabbi.'
And BE feels sorry for herself and this guy and the hotel clerk tell her she should go to a party when Dyan stands her up. So BE goes to the hotel party and gets taken back to her room by the old guy (who was talking her into the party along with the clerk). You might think he's going to rape her because of how it looks but he's actually going to dump her on the bed and then go through her purse. He is working for the anthrax dealer.
He will find stuff on Dyan and get a copy of Dyan's government i.d. card which made no sense to me (your undercover and you've got that in your room where anyone can find?) so we'll move along.
BE will awake hung over the next morning while the dealer will tell Dyan he knows she's working for the US government and refuse to allow her to leave his guarded villa. The rabbi will go to BE and tell her they have to save Dyan which is how she learns what's been going on. (Though she has a harder time believing he's not a rabbi than she does believing her mother is a spy.)
She'll use all she's learned from editing various books to otuwit the bad guys and prove to be capable of the spy business herself. She and Dyan will make a good team and they finally get the relationship both wanted but secrets had prevented.
The movie has a lot more snap and humor than my synopsis probably made clear.
But that's the film and Dyan really offers a light-hearted performance that works -- at some points, the film tries to be heavy handed -- especially with regards to music and camera angles and a light touch like Dyan's offering would have been better.
Jayne Brock plays BE and she's best in her scenes with Diane, Gloria and the first part of the movie when she's at work. (I'm not saying she's not good after the first part, I am saying I saw no chemistry between her and the spy who was not a rabbi.)
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"