The Moms Are Horny

This summer, moms are horny. At least if Hollywood is anything to go by.

Recently, we’ve been served films like A Family Affair and The Idea of You that have one singular message: A typical mom may look like a sweet and classy woman of a certain age who is growing older gracefully, but underneath, she’s begging to be taken to pound town, preferably, by a beefed up boy toy half her age who wants nothing more than to pleasure her.

The two main pieces of media serving us this narrative are the recently released The Idea of You and A Family Affair, which came out in May and on Friday, respectively. This duo fell into the iconic Friends With Benefits/No Strings Attached conundrum of being two distinct films from different distributors that tread very similar subject matter. In both, an “older” (read, 40 and up) woman who has long been relegated into the (sexless) category of mother has her life and joie de vivre reawakened by falling in love with a younger famous man. Bottom line: They rediscover themselves by fucking a hot piece of ass.

Sure, both films pay lip service to the idea that what really breathes life back into these characters, played by Anne Hathaway and Nicole Kidman, is that they are “finding themselves” as women after raising their kids and losing their husbands to divorce or death and rediscovering love and passion and their womanhood and blah blah blah.

But, let’s be real. There’s no love happening here. What’s happening is lots of hooking up with really hot guys, played by Nicholas Galitzine and Zac Efron. These moms are horny and primed for action. They are DTF. And as soon as a little cub wanders into their lair, these cougars are ready to pounce.

I mean, you can’t tell me with a straight face that A Family Affair’s hot mom Brooke, played by Kidman, has any interest in Efron’s Chris aside from his washboard abs and overall Zac Efron-ness. The two meet when Chris goes to the home of his long-suffering Gen Z assistant Zara (Joey King) after firing her and stumbles upon Brooke instead. Brooke, like any straight woman with a pulse, looks at Efron and is like, mmm yes. When he inexplicably asks her for a midday shot of Casamigos, she savvily joins him in getting day drunk.

This is a woman who is supposed to be a best-selling novelist, a writer who has enough success to live in a beach house on the westside of Los Angeles. You think she’s interested in Chris, an action movie hero who doesn’t even know the Greek myth his franchise is based on, for his brain? Brooke informing Chris that the Icarus films he stars in are actually, probably, based on the mythology is the only real conversation they have in the movie before they hop into bed for the first time.

<cite class="credit">Aaron Epstein/Netflix</cite>
Aaron Epstein/Netflix

That Brooke continues seeing Chris, who is seen later hilariously reading a book titled “Mythology,” likely has a lot more to do with their physical connection. Sure, they have one nice conversation about his trauma (two dead family members? Jeez!) and her trauma (she’s a widow who hasn’t dated since her husband’s death) but basically…that’s it. The rest of their courtship is making out and making eyes at each other, which we are led to believe is empowering for Brooke, who needs to get her groove back! This is much to the chagrin of Zara, who can’t believe her mom can snag Zac Efron (fair) but is also is worried he will break her heart (oh, hon, I think she’s okay).

In one scene, Zara’s grandmother, played by Kathy Bates, tells her that to a child, one’s mother is just a mother. But as that child grows older, they should start to see their mother as more than that, mainly, a well-rounded woman who has her own inner life.

That’s a very nice sentiment, but let’s be real. What she should have said was “just be cool about this sweetie, and let your mom bang it out.”

In The Idea of You, Hathaway’s Solene is similarly grooveless despite her extreme hotness, with a cool job owning an art gallery and a fancy house in Silverlake (yep, we are on the east side this time). She’s still smarting from having been dumped by her husband, played by Reid Scott, for his new girlfriend, Eva. Solene has also poured herself for the past few decades into mothering her Gen Z daughter (why don’t any of these people have sons? Let’s unpack that) and is now facing a future on her own.

Solene is primed for some self-actualization, and she finds it on top, literally, of a hot, 24-year-old Harry Styles stand-in named Hayes Campbell (Galitzine). After meeting Hayes by chance at Coachella and having a flirty day of “art shopping,” what is it that finally gets her to take his invitation to visit him in New York? Is it their deep emotional connection? No, it is watching a music video in which he looks extremely hot in glasses and a school uniform that makes her skedaddle to his hotel room and get busy.

<h1 class="title">Anne-Hathaway-The-Idea-Of-You-Nicholas-Galitzine-sunglasses.jpg</h1><cite class="credit">Amazon MGM Studios</cite>

Anne-Hathaway-The-Idea-Of-You-Nicholas-Galitzine-sunglasses.jpg

Amazon MGM Studios

And then there’s the juicy new read The Winner by Teddy Wayne, which also features a mom getting down and dirty with a much younger man. My colleague, Glamour digital director Perrie Samotin, filled me in on the novel, which she says serves as a respectable send-up of the 1% and offers an abundance of commentary on nepotism, class, COVID (yeah), and what it means to be in the right place at the right time, but is at its core, a horny mom sex novel.

She explains that the plot follows Connor, a handsome tennis pro in his 20s who is hired to give lessons on Cutters Neck, an exclusive WASPy summer enclave along the eastern seaboard. Without spoiling too much, Connor starts to give lessons to Catherine, a hot, rich, 50-something divorcee who just wants to fuck and will pay him extra for the opportunity.

All well and good until we find out—dramatic pause—she’s the mom of Emily, the age-appropriate girl Conner meets on the beach and develops romantic feelings for. With sweet, creative, sardonic Emily, the sex is stilted and unsatisfying but the connection is real. With Catherine, no sex act is off limits and even Connor—who the author mentions no less than a bajillion times has had his fair share of women—is rendered speechless by her brazen voracity. This mom is horny and she’s willing to pay $300 a pop to do things to Conner that probably would make poor Emily run for the hills—all in the name of her own pleasure.

Now, don’t think that I am anti-horny moms. Far from it. I do think it’s a little funny though that both films attempt to make these relationships deeper than they are, perhaps to give the whole situation a little more gravitas. We are meant to believe that both Brooke and Solene are reawakening as women because of the love of these fine gentlemen, gaining confidence in themselves again and finding their identities outside of wives and mothers. And to be sure, they totally are, but they are doing this because of the physical connection, not the emotional one.

At the end of A Family Affair, Zara tells her mom she’s ready to accept her as her own person.

“You deserve to feel happy, you deserve to feel seen, and I finally see you Mom, I really do,” she says, as a way of blessing her relationship with Chris.

In both films, it is heavily implied that both couples go riding off into the sunset of bliss, which is cute, I guess. But neither of these couples really need to be endgame, honestly. It may be even more empowering for both Brooke and Solene to embrace these relationships for what they are: getting nasty with hot men who are young enough to be their sons.

To me, that’s feminism.


Originally Appeared on Glamour