Moms' Night Out

Directed By: Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin

Starring: Sarah Drew, Trace Adkins, Sean Astin, and Patricia Heaton

For me, the month of May is always a hard time of year.  It's the season of giving gifts.  Somebody's always graduating from somewhere.  There's also a multitude of birthdays.  Last but not least, Mother's Day always arrives on that second Sunday of the month.  While I don't mind honoring graduates, birthday revelers, and especially moms, I must say that my wallet is assaulted on an annual basis.  This year, it's found rather surprising company — my movie theater.  This weekend, we have the utterly sappy comedy Mom's Night Out arriving in theaters.  Shoot me now.

Blogger and mommy Allyson (Sarah Drew) is living out her childhood dream.  Married to her husband Sean (Sean Astin) with three children, the dream seems more like a nightmare in actuality.  Constantly keeping her kids out of harm’s way and cleaning up every little mess they make leaves no time for Allyson.  Seeing his wife as a mess, Sean metaphorically tells her to start taking care of herself first by equating her life to a plane crash and the need to set up her oxygen mask before helping anyone else.  To act on this recommendation, she decides to have a moms' night out with her best friend Izzy (Andrea Logan White) and her pastor's wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton).  However, having a night out with the girls proves to be a challenge.  Most things aren't quite going as planned.  All three moms find it hard to unplug from their family's lives.  None of them can trust the men in their lives to get the job done.  All that being said, the night must go on.

I'm all about celebrating moms and the obstacle course that is motherhood, but Moms' Night Out is not the right way to do so.  There are some rare mildly funny moments during which I laughed on the inside.  There are infinitely more unfunny moments during which I cringed on the outside.  Andrew and Jon Erwin's ode to the maternity ward is devoid of originality, intrigue, and any semblance of comedy.  Moreover, this cinematic Mother's Day present is the worst kind of gift moms everywhere could receive, a dud.

The actors all mail in their performances.  As our central mom Allyson, Sarah Drew gives a whiny, annoying performance that brings absolutely nothing to the table.  She offers an uninteresting weak-willed character who's trampled by life because she doesn't know how to live it.  As Sean (for the lack of a better character name), Sean Astin gives a bland, uninspired interpretation of the stereotypical ill-equipped and ill-advised paternal figure.  Andrea Logan White's Izzy doesn't even merit comment.  The film's only saving grace is Patricia Heaton's turn as Sondra, the pastor's wife.  Still, one comedic diamond in a rough, rough film is anything but enough.

It's clear where I stand on Moms' Night Out.  It's a dull, dull film.  God help you if you dare to go see this one.  An oxygen mask certainly won't.  Moms' Night Out gets a wasted rating. Have a few Adios Motherf*ckers with this one.