The Great Mom Swap

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The Great Mom Swap
The Great Mom Swap.jpg
Directed by Jonathan Prince
Produced by Brent Shields
Richard Welsh
Ruth Slawson
Written by Maryedith Burrell
Starring Mary Kate Schellhardt
Hillary Tuck
Shelley Fabares
Valerie Harper
Sid Caesar
Andrew Kavovit
Kelsey Mulrooney
Music by David Lawrence
Cinematography Sandi Sissel
Edited by Jim Oliver
Brian Fassett
Distributed by Hallmark Entertainment
Release dates
Running time
120 minutes (including commercials)
Country United States
Language English

The Great Mom Swap is a 1995 film released direct-to-video by Hallmark Entertainment.


Terri Venessi (Mary Kate Schellhardt), a local deli girl, always seems to be at odds with the cheerleading captain, Karen Ridgeway (Hillary Tuck). One day their pranks on each other go too far and the school has to close as a result. The girls have to perform community service. A juvenile counselor tells them that the girls should switch lives for a while to experience the other girl's life. The counselor also notices that both mothers act the same way toward each other.

Reluctantly, the girls and their families agree. Karen's family is quite affluent, but both parents work and are gone quite a bit. As a result, Karen, when she was home had to take care of Karen's little sister, Tiffany (Kelsey Mulrooney), and now Terri must. Tiffany (who is constantly telling "Knock-knock jokes") gets on Terry's nerves at first, but eventually, she comes to think of Terry as a "sister-figure", especially during a thunderstorm, which causes a temporary loss of power. During the switch, Terri learns that Karen never stands up for herself to her mom (Shelley Fabares) who grew up in the neighborhood with Terri's mom, and is now a social climber. While at Karen's, Terri and Karen's brother David (Andrew Kavovit) discover they like each other, especially after Karen gives Terri a "makeover."

At Terri's, Karen is living with her mother (Valerie Harper), a widow, and grandfather Papa Tognetti (Sid Caesar). Terri's is a blue-collar family that runs an Italian deli. Karen's friends make fun of Terri and now are making fun of Karen, who discovers that her "friends" are very superficial. Her "best friend" Nicole Henderson (Marnette Patterson) starts snubbing her and even tries to steal her boyfriend Chad Elkins (Hunter Garner), which causes problems for the couple. She also discovers that Terri's mom is much more "hands on" than her own mother and doesn't like things to change. She also can be a bit controlling. As time goes on, Karen starts to bond with Papa and even joins in the search when he presumably turns up missing.

As a result of the switch, Millie (Karen's mom) and Grace (Terri's mom) gain perspective and restore their friendship. They apparently had a falling out when they were teens. Grandpa moves to a retirement village (he wasn't missing after all). Terri and Karen discover they like themselves and each other. Millie decides her family is more important than her clubs and Grace quits trying to hide in the past and embrace life again. Everyone benefits from the Mom Swap, especially Terri and David, who go to Prom together, and Karen and Chad, who are voted Prom Queen and King, but not before Nicole gets called out for trying to rig the election. Karen and Terri end up as best friends.

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