Should you take a mom to see Moms’ Night Out?
What happens when you try to cater to housewives, mommy bloggers and the faith community in one film? You get Moms’ Night Out a film starring Sarah Drew of Grey’s Anatomy fame as a burnt out mom who tries very hard to remember what she’s put on earth to do.
Moms’ Night Out starts with Allyson who has images in her head of how to be the perfect mom with perfect kids and a clean house and all the things she believes she has to do. And look she’s even a blogger, as she tells her self repeatedly with her mantra “I’m a mommy blogger, I’m a mommy blogger” over in her head as she tries to write her newest post and hope someone on the interwebs likes what she has to say. She’s married to Sean Astin an architect who travels a lot for work. And her perfect children are perfect hellions. When she goes to Sunday services she stands in awe of the always perfectly put together Pastor’s wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton) who has a perfect teen and has the respect of the whole congregation. She also has her best friend Abby (Logan White) who while happily childless runs the church daycare, is happily married to a man-child and is her still cool friend.
After Allyson’s kids once again get her called out of service for getting a head stuck in a toilet seat and other insanities she is visibly cracking and we find her hiding in her closet drinking and sobbing. Her inner monologue frequently shows how unhappy she is and that she believes this is her fault because things aren’t as she planned. After some forced intervention she plans a Moms’ Night Out with Sondra and Abby at a very trendy restaurant where she gets to dress up and have a nice night. Before everything goes to hell we are given small backstories on her friends Abby is pregnant and on the fence about if she’s happy about it, Sondra doesn’t trust her daughter and hates her husband’s midlife crisis sports car.
Everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Besides the women thinking that Sean and his friend babysitting the kids will end in a huge disaster complete with fires, holding the dads hostage and what not, they do get into some problems but nothing on that level of insanity. Add it Sean’s goth-lite sister Bridget the single mom who is the terrible person that’s completely irresponsible and unreliable who would leave her baby in a tattoo parlor. Seriously this film has every cliché all rolled into one. Men are incompetent, single mothers are selfish, people with tattoos are either drug addicts or criminals. The only thing Moms’ Night Out didn’t throw in was the preachers kid that is actually a good kid and her parents are overreacting.
I wanted to like this film but couldn’t stop rolling my eyes long enough to get thru it. It does try to be subtle in its god-centered message. After a very long night the sage words of advice come from Trace Atkins as the scary biker Bones who they keep having to deal with all night. Moms’ Night Out still wants you to think that who you are as an individual doesn’t matter, your status as a mom is who you need to be. Allyson isn’t trying to forget her new life and go to her old, its pretty clear she was equally neurotic and dull prior but it lays it on heavy that your kids should be your focus, your drive your status and all encompassing if you are a mom. Happy Mother’s Day? If you self-identity as a mom first last and everything this film caters to you in every way even if it is pretty condescending to everyone else involved.
My Rating: Redbox
Directors: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Studio: AFFIRM Films/Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release Date: May 9, 2014
Run time: 98 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG