The phrase brings to mind blockbusters, superheroes and epics. But this summer there are several films – mostly small flicks – that will feature or at least include, modern moms in their storylines. So get your gigantic tub of popcorn, your inhumanly huge bucket of Diet Pepsi and too-large-for-human-consumption box of Skittles. Here’s a peek at some of the new and upcoming summer releases destined for a theater near you:
Georgia Rule (just released): This Jane Fonda-Felicity Huffman-Lindsay Lohan vehicle about the relationship between three generations of women is, sadly, getting mixed-to-tepid reviews. The premise: A fortysomething, stressed out mom is having trouble with her volatile teenager and brings the girl to her overbearing mother’s home for the summer. Although I’m a big fan of Huffman’s work, particularly as Lynette Scavo on “Desperate Housewives,” critics are saying that her talents are wasted in this.
The Ex (just released): Amanda Peet played an unmarried, network TV executive on the now-canceled “Studio 60” who unexpectedly became pregnant. In her new flick, “The Ex,” she’s a lawyer who wants to leave her job just after having given birth so she can become an at-home parent. Her husband (Zach Braff from “Scrubs”) is now working for Peet’s dad and worries about being the sole income provider and about the fact that Peet’s ex-boyfriend is his supervisor. Unfortunately, like “Georgia Rule,” this comedy is similarly getting mixed reviews.
Waitress (just released): This movie focuses on a pie-making waitress at a diner (played by “Felicity’s” Keri Russell) who discovers she’s pregnant with her verbally abusive husband’s baby. The film’s generating fabulous buzz, particularly for Russell whose character struggles with ambivalent feelings about pregnancy as she assigns her pies passive-aggressive names like, “I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby” pie and “Baby Screaming Its Head Off in the Middle of the Night and Ruining My Life” pie. A Boston Globe film critic (http://www.boston.com/movies/display?display=movie&id=10230) said, “. . . it’s built on fears, of motherhood and of making one’s own way in the world.”
Stephanie Daley (just released): Fair warning, this selection is very dark. Amber Tamblyn (from “Joan of Arcadia”) plays a teen accused of killing her newborn to whom she gave birth in a bathroom stall. A pregnant forensic psychologist (played by Tilda Swinton), whose previous pregnancy resulted in a stillbirth, is assigned to the case to find out exactly what happened. “Much of Swinton’s screen time is spent peeing, which puts [the movie] among the most honest portraits of pregnancy in the history of cinema,” wrote the Boston Globe’s Janice Page (http://www.boston.com/movies/display?display=movie&id=10185) in a review entitled, “A brave tale of motherhood and marriage.”
Knocked Up (June 1 release): Everyone’s been billing this flick as this season’s “40-year-old Virgin.” Probably because it was created by the same folks. Only it focuses on pregnancy, not, obviously, on virginity. The premise, according to The New York Times  is that a “statuesque, blond-haired career-oriented entertainment journalist . . . is carrying the fruit of” a one-night stand with a “pudgy, pot-smoking, porn-addled, job-free hero of the tale.” The journalist is played by Katherine Heigl, best known as “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Izzie Stevens. Entertainment Weekly’s  critics pegged it as one of the summer’s most anticipated films.
No Reservations (July 27 release): Catherine Zeta-Jones plays a well known chef who becomes the guardian of her 9-year-old niece after the girl’s mother is accidentally killed. Talk about sudden work-life dilemmas. “I know I’m doing everything wrong,” Zeta-Jones says to the girl, played by the adorable Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) in the movie’s trailer, “but I’ll always be there for you.”
The Nanny Diaries (Sept. 7 release): Based on the best-selling book by the same name, Scarlett Johansson stars as the much put-upon nanny in Manhattan waging battles with Alpha Moms.