Mother’s Day (2016)

Thanks to a spur-of-the-moment invitation from my friend Annie, and a promise to myself to try to be more spontaneous and open-minded, I attended an early screening of the new holiday-centered ensemble-cast movie, Mother’s Day, brought to you by the same folks behind Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

Well, it is a Garry Marshall movie, at the end of the day, but I I did feel myself laughing and having my heartstrings tugged more than I expected. Mother’s Day has a smaller ensemble cast than the other holiday-themed movies do; whereas you’re juggling something like 20 stars in the movie (and on the poster!), we really only have a few storylines to follow in Mother’s Day, and as a result, there isn’t as much reaching around to connect the characters to each other.

I feel like where Mother’s Day does well is pretty relatable mom-centric stories, whereas previous movies mostly fun but ultimately super improbable romances.

  • We have the military family whose widowed father is struggling to raise 2 daughters by himself for the first time.
  • We have the divorcée who must share her kids – and her ex-husband – with a very young new step-mother.
  • We have the sisters whose close-minded parents would never approve of their spouses and, therefore, don’t know about them or their grandchildren.
  • We have the career woman who was forced into choosing her career so aggressively that she denies ever having been a mother until her daughter finally contacts her.

Mothers are pretty hard to mess up on making an emotional connection with the audience about, and I felt like this movie was definitely better at touching viewers than the past holiday incarnations were. As incredibly cheesy as this movie was, it was still a fun watch. If you are here for a non-cheesy rom-com, look elsewhere.

A few notes I have on this movie:

  • I loved seeing Asif Mandavi playing Kate Hudson’s husband.
    • Although I think the interracial marriage could have been handled just slightly more tactfully?
  • It seemed like Jason Sudeikis wasn’t able to really be as funny as we know him to be. I understand he’s playing a widower, but he was not given much of an opportunity to shine in this role. He did make the most of his small comedic moments, however.
  • Julia Roberts’s hair was a little unbelievable here, but I love her and she is so good.

Honestly, this is a perfectly acceptable cheesy rom-com-style comedy that I think my own mother would love. (She loooooooves rom-coms so much.) It has all the tropes you’re looking for: awkward teenage romance, ridiculous female characters acting silly, heartstring tuggers, familial reconciliation, awkward father dealing with teenage daughter hijinks, etc. etc. etc. Physical comedy is there (Jennifer Aniston really nails it) and you might even tear up every now and then.

Invite your mom. It’s not too romantic, so I think even calling it a rom-com is a bit of a stretch.

Mother’s Day will be released on April 29.

Haha oh man this trailer…


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