Mother's Day





When looking at the life-less, cold faces of Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, and Jason Sudekis on the poster of Mother's Day, I was hoping for a shred of integrity from the cast involved. Is it too much to ask for an enjoyable experience when you take your mother to the multiplex for the Hallmark holiday? I suppose it is, because I was shocked that this collection of talent could be involved in something this bad. Director Garry Marshall gathers a collection of actors who were willing to accept a paycheck and say yes to a script without reading it, so we get the vapid concoction titled Mother's Day, which does less for Mother's than Disney did for Bambi's mom.  

Any effort from me attempting to explain the plot is futile, because there is essentially no true story. The mother of all holidays approaches and we follow Sandy (Aniston), dealing with her ex-husband (Timothy Olyphant as a clueless idiot) who wants to involve their two sons with his new highly sexualized 20-something wife. Then there is Jesse (Hudson), whose parents (Margo Martindale and Robert Pine) are racist homophobes, causing her sister to hide her lesbian marriage and Hudson to keep her Indian husband and son a secret. There is also Kristin (Tomorrowland's- Britt Robertson), who has a child with Zack (Jack Whitehall), but is afraid to commit to marriage. And then it's all rounded out with Bradley (Jason Sudekis), a father of two dealing with the recent death of his marine wife. At some point, all of these people’s lives will intersect, while, for some reason, every television in this town is dialed to the Home Shopping Network where Miranda Collins (Julia Roberts in a wig that makes her look like Captain Kangaroo) promotes her garbage jewelery for suck-errs..I mean children and spouses to buy for the holiday.

It's astonishing how out of touch director Garry Marshall and the foursome of writers- Tom Hines, Lilly Hollander, Anya Kochoff, and Matthew Walker are with the world. It treats older characters as if they are from far distant planets, not owning TV's and cell-phones. Aniston's character is shocked when Olyphant's new wife tells her “Tweet me, or check for photos of the kids on my Instagram”. Oh brother. I do believe people over the age of 40 know what Twitter is. On top of that, Aniston runs around makeup-less and learns a lesson from an actual clown, while Kate Hudson's role is an opportunity to promote her line of yoga mats, yoga pants, and her rockin' abs.

Quite possibly the most preposterous sequence, which feels like a blast into the past to one of Marshall's Happy Days episode, is where Jason Sudekis' character is put up to the grueling task of buying his teenage daughter, you guessed it...TAMPONS! Oh no, ewwy tampons. How ridiculous does it sound that in 2016 we can't make a movie about mother's without telling audiences how gross their anatomy is? Will Marshall make the same joke for a mother buying her son condoms in what I can only assume is his next movie- Father's Day?

I can't say that Mother's Day is not something to watch, this movie is a train wreck you can't look away from. If you are not offended by the films sexist inability to allow some of the female characters to have careers and be mother's at the same time, then you will certainly be irritated by how it forces each highly paid actor to make a buffoon out of themselves, as if they were doing a bit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. If you had high praise for the actors here, you will surely leave a large chunk of that when you see Sudekis attempt to sing “The Humpty Dance” or Roberts pretend she's not above the sitcom material.

Mother's Day is a colossal disaster. I've never seen the other holiday themed Marshall films, New Year's Eve (2011) or Valentine's Day (2010), but one can figure out that the themes of these movies are typically similar. Frankly, the greatest gift you can give the woman who brought you into this world this weekend? Anything but taking her to see Mother's Day. If you truly love her, you'd keep her far far away.

½ Star

Written by: Leo Brady  ​