After years of abandonment, and with her mother in rehab, Jillian (Camille Cregan) lacks parental guidance and is why she finds herself in trouble with the police. Fortunately her best friend's mother, Cheryl (Helen Slater - Rock the House), not only sorts out the trouble with the police but asks Jillian to move in with them. It doesn't take long for Jillian to become suspicious of Cheryl as her daughter, Melanie (Meaghan Martin - Mean Girls 2), is seriously ill and she thinks that Cheryl might be poisoning her.
"The Good Mother" starts with a police chase, cop cars and a police helicopter pursuing a bike rider with a blacked out helmet. It is an incredibly fake opening, very choppy, very over the top just so we can get too the scene of the helmet being removed to reveal it is Jillian, ooh a bad girl who looks hot. But as "The Good Mother" is a modern TV movie the ridiculousness of this opening scene isn't really that surprising.
Not being surprising extends to the storyline because "The Good Mother" makes it far too obvious early on what is going on. When you have a scene which features Cheryl being over protective as she medicates her daughter, arguing with her husband over not calling the doctor whilst Jillian skulks in the hall listening in to this argument you can guess what is going on long before it establishes it properly. Yes there are a couple of surprises along the way but nothing which sways your opinion of how it is going to play out and nothing which fills you with an ominous feeling despite various attempts to do just that.
Despite this "The Good Mother" has one thing going for it and that is a look which is appealing. I wouldn't by any means say the look helps create an atmosphere but there are some nicely staged shots which have a commercially artsy appeal and the sharpness of the camera adds something extra to the look. The look also extends to the actors with both Helen Slater and Camille Cregan having an appealing ook whilst playing their characters well, but the characters are not that well written with both prone to moments of over the top dramatics.
What this all boils down to is that "The Good Mother" is a watchable modern TV movie with an appealing cast. But it is one which is all a bit ridiculous and over the top despite the basic idea being a reasonable one and that means it will appeal to a crowd who like TV movies rather than those seeking a gritty thriller to get involved with.