Netflix's most-watched movie is surprising – but its Rotten Tomatoes score isn't

Mother of the Bride is a runaway success

Mother of the Bride
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix moves in mysterious ways – it's never easy to predict what's going to come out on top for the giant streaming service.

After all, one of the worst-reviewed movies to hit cinemas this year (Madame Web) is currently sitting pretty on the number one spot in its chart in the US – but it's not the only movie with a ropey Rotten Tomatoes score in the chart.

In second place in the US, but streaking into the lead in a whole heap of other territories – it's the most-watched on Netflix over the last couple of weeks – is the cheesy Netflix original Mother of the Bride, starring Brooke Shields. 

That's despite a pretty staggering achievement on Rotten Tomatoes, where it's managed to land identical scores from both critics and audiences – languishing on 14% in both cases. Yikes.

Madame Web might have a lower critic score at just 11%, but its audience score of 57% shows that it's got some fun going on. Meanwhile, Mother of the Bride is altogether more mysterious...

It tells the story of Lana (Shields) as she discovers that her daughter is engaged to someone she met on a trip abroad – and that this mystery man is none other than the son of her college boyfriend.

That's about as classic a template for a middle-aged rekindling of romance as you could possibly design, and it looks a lot like that's exactly the promise that Mother of the Bride delivers on with aplomb.

Expect steamy racquetball matches, gossipy spa treatments, and plenty of silly, puerile jokes – but there's clearly something here that's really chiming with audiences because its chart performance is terrific. 

Perhaps one key draw is its fun cast, which features other big names as well as Shields – as one comment on the YouTube trailer noted: "Familiar plot aside, I can’t believe we are seeing Brooke Shields, Miranda Cosgrove, Benjamin Bratt and Chad Michael Murray in the same movie!"

So, it might look cheesy, but perhaps this is just the latest step in Netflix's master plan to be the best streaming service for "so bad they're good" movie nights – and it might be working...

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.