Mom – Lockjaw and a Liquid Diet
By: Julie Mante
At the bistro, Christy (Anna Faris) celebrates her fourth year of sobriety with her mother Bonnie (Allison Janney) and friends Jill (Jaime Pressly), Marjorie (Mimi Kennedy) and Wendy (Beth Hall). Bonnie offers to pay for everyone’s meals. When the waitress approaches the table, she tells Bonnie that her card was declined. At home, Bonnie and Christy are having dinner with Bonnie’s boyfriend Adam (William Fichtner) and Bonnie is on the phone with the credit card company. After she finishes the call, Adam and Christy are eager to hear what happened, but Bonnie is more interested in her dinner. Christy tells Adam that Bonnie is deflecting because the news she heard scares her. Bonnie tells them that the IRS put a lien on her account because she owes eighteen thousand dollars. When Adam asked her how that happened, she tells him that she and Christy live rent-free because Bonnie is the building manager of the complex so for the past couple of years she has not filed any taxes on the income she has been receiving. Christy is freaking out because Bonnie could be put in jail for this.
When Christy brings up that Adam offered to loan her the money, Bonnie feels it will cause problems in their relationship. Christy says that Bonnie needs a lawyer and suggests that she should call Steve (Don McManus) to see if he can represent her. When Bonnie calls Steve, he is on the edge because he is hiding away in Mexico. He tells them that he lost a case and his client went to jail. The problem is that the client is the nephew of a powerful Mexican drug lord who wants revenge so Steve is in hiding. Hiding in Mexico. After hearing this, Christy silently advises her mother not to ask Steve for help so she tells him that she butt-dialed him by accident.
When the ladies meet for AA, Bonnie tells them that she needs a tax attorney. Marjorie suggests that Bonnie contact her half-brother Ray (Leonard Roberts), but Bonnie is not interested. Marjorie says that Christy should represent her mother, but Christy thinks it is a bad idea and reminds them that she is not in law school yet. Bonnie hires her anyway. As Christy does some research, she feels she cannot help her mother out of this jam. Bonnie wants to encourage Christy so she starts humming Chariots of Fire and Adam joins in. Christy is annoyed at first, but surprisingly the humming and her mother’s and Adam’s silliness does motivate her to learn as much as tax law as she can.
The next day, Christy and Bonnie are at the IRS office. Both are nervous, but want to get it over with. George (David Anthony Higgins) arrives at his desk to discuss the case. He is on a liquid diet that causes him to make frequent trips to the restroom so he is in a hurry to finish their case. George asks Bonnie to explain why she did not declare income for the last three years. Christy tells him that her mother did not know that she had to file taxes on rent-free income. George informs them that Bonnie has not filed taxes since 1996, which is a shock to both of them. Christy asks him if they can come at another time to discuss this and George agrees as he races to the bathroom.
Christy tells Wendy, Jill, and Marjorie that she postponed their meeting for another week. Christy stresses that she is not a lawyer and Bonnie needs a real one. She wants to call Ray, but Bonnie refuses. Christy and Marjorie cannot understand why Bonnie cannot let go of her resentment for her brother. Christy informs Bonnie that she already called her uncle and they are meeting him tomorrow at 2pm. The next day, Bonnie and Christy are in Ray’s office. Christy daydreams about her future office being like Ray’s. Christy receives a warm welcome from Ray. Ray decides that the best course of action is address Bonnie’s anger. He knows that Bonnie was abandoned by their mother but decided to keep him. He reminds her that they both did not know each other until three months ago. Bonnie admits that she is annoyed that Ray has had a successful life while she is still struggling. Ray suggests that Bonnie’s tax situation could be an opportunity for them to get to know each other. Ray offers to help Bonnie with no strings attached and Bonnie reluctantly accepts. He tells her that they will go visit the IRS next week to cut a deal. Ray gives Christy an ego boost when he tells her that he will be using her notes for the meeting next week. He invites Christy to join at the meeting next week. Bonnie is surprised to learn that she is not invited. According to Ray, the only mistake Christy made was bringing Bonnie to the first meeting.
A week later, Bonnie is nervously waiting for Ray and Christy to come home so she can learn her fate. Bonnie lets Adam know that if she goes to jail, she does not expect him to wait for her. He agrees and she is annoyed that he could not even pretend that he would wait for her. After the meeting, Christy is thrilled that they won the case! Ray corrects her by saying that they actually settled, but Christy lets him know that settling is winning in her family. When Christy reaches for her phone to call Bonnie, Ray gives her tip about being a lawyer. The first thing every lawyer should know is: “Never tell the client it took fifteen minutes to do a day’s work. They’re called ‘billable hours’ for a reason.” At first Christy feels a little bad about making her mom wait a whole hour to tell her the good news, but that goes away quickly. Ray offers her an internship at his law firm. Later, at the bistro, Bonnie thanks all her friends and family for being there for in this difficult time. Thanks to Ray and Christy, it seems Bonnie has ten years to pay off her debt. Ray reveals that he has a cocaine problem and receives a warm welcome from everyone at the table.
In the closer, Bonnie sees Christy in the kitchen. Christy tells her that she is still learning more about tax law. Bonnie tells Christy that she is proud of her which Christy appreciates. The two share a cute mother/daughter moment as Bonnie wraps her arms around Christy and kisses her forehead. Christy knows her mom’s sweet gesture means that she needs her help again. Bonnie admits that Christy is right.