‘Mom’s Night Out’: Mostly funny comedy soft-pedaling faith-based lessons
By BILL ZWECKER Columnist May 8, 2014 2:44PM
Trace Adkins (center) clowns around with “Mom’s Night Out” co-stars Andrea Logan White (from left), Sarah Drew, Abbie Cobb, Patricia Heaton and Sammi Hanratty. | TRISTAR PICTURES
‘MOM’S NIGHT OUT’ ★★1⁄2
Allyson Sarah Drew
Sean Sean Astin
Sondra Patricia Heaton
Izzy Andrea Logan White
TriStar Pictures presents a film directed by the Erwin brothers and written by Andrea Nasfell and Jon Erwin. Running time: 98 minutes. Rated PG (for mild thematic elements and some action). Opens Friday at local theaters.
Updated: June 10, 2014 6:14AM
Just in time for this weekend’s annual homage to our mothers, “Mom’s Night Out” overtly reminds parents everywhere — and moms in particular — of the daily, moment-to-moment demands put upon the women who have delivered us all into this crazy world.
The premise is pretty basic: Three moms are looking for an evening off from chasing after their kids and worrying that those children are one small step away from either causing or being the victim of some horrible disaster.
Sarah Drew of “Grey’s Anatomy” fame is Allyson, an aggressively Type A personality and total neat freak, wound so tightly you think she’s about to snap at any moment. Sean Astin sweetly plays Allyson’s ever-patient husband who clearly supports his wife’s deep need to have a break from being what she calls “the Bruce Banner of stay-at-home moms.”
A funny note: Allyson’s way-too-intense (no surprise there!) mommy blog has been losing followers. She’s dropped (ahem) from four readers down to three.
Along with Allyson we have her guru — her pastor’s wife, Sondra, played by Patricia Heaton — plus Izzy, Allyson’s BBF (Andrea Logan White) who is stuck in a big quandary. Her husband (Robert Amaya) is not so wild about his parenting abilities with the couple’s twins, and she can’t bring herself to tell him that another baby is on the way.
In this year seeing an increase in faith-based films, “Moms’ Night Out” also falls into that category — but in a far more subtle way than “Heaven Is For Real” or “God’s Not Dead.” The life lessons about morals and values are soft-pedaled pretty well and packaged in a mostly funny romp as the trio of mothers’ night-on-the-town turns in all sorts of bizarre and wacky ways.
From an ill-fated trip to a fancy restaurant — where they only sought to have a lovely, fancy dinner they did not have to prepare — to a missing car to a missing child to run-ins with the cops to a tattoo parlor caper, things quickly go downhill.
Some of these plot twists require more than the normal suspension of logic that often happens in similar comedies. Yet the characters are all appealing — especially the ones played by Drew and Heaton. Country music star Trace Adkins adds a humorous touch as a motorcycle gang boss named “Bones.”
It is Adkins, along with Heaton’s character (she’s also a major producer of the film) who deliver some of the best lessons of all here: that despite the difficulties, raising children is a true gift and blessing. Now that’s something worth remembering as we approach Mother’s Day 2014.