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Moms' Night out

2014-09-05 07:51

What it's about:

A group of over-stressed mothers try to have a girl's night out but things don't go quite as planned.

What we thought:

I hate to once again bemoan the sorry state of Hollywood comedy movies but Mom's Night Out is a particularly troublesome offender. Not only is it a wretched, thoroughly unfunny comedy but it's one that's mixed with large dollops of lame Christian sermonizing. It's not quite as preachy as the worst Christian movies tend to be but it's still pretty cloying. Mom's Night Out is pretty much Touched By an Angel meets the worst, schlocky sitcom you can imagine and, though I'm sure it's Church-approved, one has to wonder just which side the makers of Mom's Night Out are really playing for.

There's definitely the sense that this film is aimed squarely at church-going housewives but you have to wonder to what end. Based purely on the evidence that the human race is still here and has not, in fact, sterilized itself into extinction, I can only assume that real parenthood isn't anywhere near as horrifically annoying as it is presented here. As such, the only conclusion to be drawn here is that Mom's Night Out is some sort of fun-house mirror designed to make moms everywhere appreciate there own lives and their own children because, no matter how bad things might be here in the real world, at least things aren't as gruesome as this.

This is the best case scenario. If this is a film that is supposed to entertain its audience or, heaven forbid, one with which its audience is supposed to relate, I can only assume that it is the work of some of the world's most sadistic torture experts. As a childless single bloke, I found the first half of the film excruciating so I can only imagine what kind of Freddie-Kruger-esque nightmares this would cause in parents – especially parents of young children.

Admittedly, the film is only really grizzly for the first half. Should you be lucky enough to survive the opening sections, you will be treated to a largely innocuous but still pretty rubbish comedy of errors – though the force-fed religion actually only increases as it goes on.

Of course, none of this is exactly surprising when you consider the filmography of the film's directors and writers (think titles like “Christmas Angels” and “The Cross and the Towers”) but I can't help but wonder what kind of Christian movie has this little to do with, ya know, religion or spirituality. Effectively, Jon and Andrew Erwin (with a little help from co-writer Andrea Gyertson) have taken a by-the-numbers, girls-night-out comedy and crowbarred in some hilariously (well figuratively speaking) out of place Christian dogma into the proceedings.

Now, being Jewish, the whole Christian-cinema thing clearly isn't for me – no matter what those pesky Jews-for-Jesus folks may say – but I don't have a particular problem with Christian films in general. They are what they are, with a built-in audience and their own particular purpose and I certainly have no problem with devout Christians keeping this whole cottage industry going.

What I'm less thrilled with, though, is this weird bit of subterfuge going on here – especially when it's as ill-considered as Mom's Night Out so obviously is. It's a cynical Hollywood comedy masquerading as a Christian film masquerading as a cynical Hollywood comedy. It's weird as hell and I have absolutely no idea who this garbage is actually supposed to appeal to. Christians? Not really. Mothers? Certainly not. Film fans? Don't make me laugh. It just makes no sense whatsoever.

But hey, on the plus side, Trace Adkins does have a cool speaking voice. So...yay?

A cynical Hollywood comedy masquerading as a Christian film masquerading as a cynical Hollywood comedy: Mom's Night Out seems designed to appeal to no one at all.
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