Mommie Dearest

LORELAI: Aw, you’re not gonna give me the Mommie Dearest treatment forever, are ya?

Mommie Dearest is a best-selling 1978 memoir by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of Hollywood screen star Joan Crawford. In the book, Christina details the years of alleged physical and psychological abuse she received at the hands of her alcoholic and controlling mother Joan. When the book came out, even people who knew the Crawfords were divided on the accuracy of the book. Some friends of Joan said that Christina exaggerated details of her life, and Christina’s two younger sisters said her stories were untrue. On the other hand, other friends and colleagues of Joan’s said they witnessed many of the incidents in the book first-hand, Joan’s private secretary confirmed Christina’s stories of abuse, and Christina’s brother staunchly defended her. The book helped to raise awareness of child abuse.

The book was made into a film in 1981, directed by Frank Perry and with Faye Dunaway in the role of Joan Crawford. It was panned by critics, but a commercial success. Intended to be a serious biographical drama, Mommie Dearest became a cult classic due to its unintentional campy humour and over the top acting. It seems like the kind of film Lorelai and Rory would have loved to mock.

There are enough references to Rory writing a book about Lorelai one day during the show to suggest that it was a long-standing joke between them, perhaps initially triggered by either reading or watching Mommie Dearest.

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