“Moms’ Night Out” (2014)
Riding on the coattail success of “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven is for Real” comes the faith-based comedy ‘Moms’ Night Out.” Think of it as an “Adventures in Baby Sitting” for Christian adults. The film is produced by Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and her husband, David Hunt, just in time for Mother’s Day weekend.
The film starts out promisingly as we see Allyson, (“Grays Anatomy”s Sarah Drew) try to keep her family going as her husband, Sean (the under utilized Sean Astin) is away on a business trip. Allyson is a bit of a neat freak, someone willing to sacrifice a few hours of sleep to keep her home clean and organized. But she can’t do it alone and needs the support of her friends, fellow moms Izzy (Logan White) and Sondra (Patricia Heaton). Alyson feels less of a mom compared to Izzy, whose husband, Marco (Robert Amaya) feels that the kids are ganging up on him, and supermom Sondra, who is the pastor’s wife and seems to have everything, including her teenage daughter under control.
After an incredible stressful Mother’s Day, including an appearance at her church where her kids seem to revel at pressing her buttons, Sean finds Allyson in her closet watching an internet feed of a mother eagle tending to her chicks. He tells Allyson it’s time for her to take some time to get away and enjoy her self without him or the kids. Allyson decides a night on the town, where she and her two friends can leave the kids with the husbands and dine at a fancy restaurant. Needless to say, everything goes wrong on their night out, including a lost reservation, a lost kid and a lost car.
Unfortunately, the script wastes the comedic talents of Drew and Heaton. The plot never takes chances, creating scenarios whose outcome can be seen a mile away. After the first thirty minutes, Drew’s character becomes more and more whiney, looking for someone other than herself to rescue her. Once the women go out on the town, the film goes downhill. With some of the more painful scenes to watch that take place at a bowling alley (where Heaton is force to dance “Gangnam Style”) and a tattoo parlor, where the joke is everyone leaves every time the police are mentioned.
There are a couple of shining performances. Trace Adkins is funny as a biker gang member who helps the women out and gives good advice to Allyson when she desperately needs it. It happens to be one of the few touching scenes in the film, a film that is in desperate need of more. Also, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes gives a funny turn as a hostess at the pretentious restaurant that the women first try to go to.
The direction by brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin never really develops any style. Combine that with a script by Jon Erwin and Andrea Gyertson Nasfell, that never really figures out how to use it’s talented cast. It’s a film that loses it’s way rather quickly. This is a film that because of its good intentions of trying to make a faith based comedy, you want to like, but because it never succeeds to create any truly funny scenes, you just can’t. My Rating: Cable
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