PG-13 | 1h 58min | Comedy, Drama
Review - Matt Mungle
*In theaters April 29*
Synopsis: "Mother’s Day” is the latest star-studded ensemble comedy from director Garry Marshall (“Pretty Woman,” “Valentine’s Day”). Bringing together Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts along with Jason Sudeikis, it's a celebration of mothers everywhere. This big-hearted comedy invites us all to enjoy the laughter, tears and love as three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother’s Day.
Review: MOTHER'S DAY is the third film from Director Garry Marshall in which multiple story-lines weave together into one common narrative. The first one, Valentine's Day, was a tad better than the follow up, New Year's Eve. This one is actually the best of the three. Possibly due to writer Lily Hollander being brought into the mix and the stronger cast. Though at times a tad repetitive and forced it seemed to have a deeper group of stories than the two earlier films. Or maybe Mother's Day is just a better holiday.
The main plot follows Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) a mother of two boys who is dealing with the fact that her ex-husband (Timothy Olyphant) is in a new, younger relationship. Having to share her sons is not setting well with her. Then you have Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) and his two daughters spending their first Mother's Day since his wife's death. Add to the mix a woman (Kate Hudson) trying to reconcile with her head strong mother (Margo Martindale), a young mother (Britt Robertson) with commitment issues, and a older woman (Julia Roberts) who opted for the career path and you have quite a bit of personality all mingling in and out of each others lives.
The focus of the film is moms but never does it feel like a heavy handed hallmark homage. The plot points are subtle enough that you get the different layers and subtleties of motherhood in varying degrees. Plus each actress, for the most part, has the ability to make the role of mom her own. The age range is wide enough too that you get the generational nuances. Robertson's young mother character is far different than Margo Martindale's. But they are both mother's and that common thread ties them together.
It isn't a perfect film and you sometimes get the feeling that the actors have not had much time to deal with the script. There is a lack of comfortableness that makes several scenes feel awkward and disconnected. Marshall does have a laid back directing style that might be to blame. The only one who seems the most at ease is Julia Roberts who has worked with Garry on such blockbusters as Runaway Bride and Pretty Woman. This history obviously paid off here like it did in Valentine's Day in which Julia also appeared.
I have to note that the film does not try and mask its promotion of commercial products as well. From Hudson's constant display of Yoga gear to the blatant mention of a popular flower company. Viewers may not be ready for this type of ad space but I have a feeling we will see it more and more.
There is something in this film for all age groups and it is a solid option for a Mother Daughter outing or a girls night away from the kiddos and hubby. It is rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material. If you go into it with even the slightest open mind you will find the humor in all aspects of the comedy and material. The cast work well together- even with Jennifer Aniston being the same Jennifer Aniston - and again the story lines are endearing and clever when needed. I give it 3.5 out of 5 potato heads. It shines a good light on the mom role and the women we too often take for granted.