Movie Review: Mother's Day

Garry Marshall is back with the holiday-themed Mother's Day. One of my very first movie reviews on this site, back in February 2010, was his other holiday movie, Valentine's Day, which I liked enough to give it a Yes review. However, New Year's Eve, which premiered in December 2011, was a huge flop, in my eyes - I gave it 2 out of 5 stars and a No review. Mother's Day sits in between these two, but is still enjoyable, especially for a matinee.

The cast in this one, predictably, has every big-name star you can think of, with intertwining story lines per usual. Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is divorced from Henry (Timothy Olyphant) and they have two young boys; Henry has just impulsively remarried, to Tina (Shay Mitchell, Pretty Little Liars) whom Sandy describes as "a 12-year old." Sandy meets Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) in a Whole Foods-esque store, where he's embarrassingly buying tampons for his eldest daughter, since his wife (played in video flashbacks only, by Jennifer Garner) was in the military with him and has passed away.

We also have Miranda (Julia Roberts) who has chosen to devote herself to her career, as a QVC woman of sorts, and Kristin (Britt Robertson), who is a new mom herself, with her boyfriend of 5+ years, but who has always searched for her birth mother. And the final storyline revolves around sisters Jesse (Kate Hudson) and Gabi (Sarah Chalke, Scrubs); Gabi is estranged from their parents (Margo Martindale and Robert Pine) but figures since it's Mother's Day, she should maybe give them a call. However, both sisters are hiding big secrets from the parents, which come crashing down around them when the parents stop by for a surprise visit.

Some scenes in this movie were actually quite hilarious, and some were trying to be funny but weren't. A fellow blogger had a Snapchat video talking about how some of the things in the film were a little tasteless, and I saw these with some of Jesse's parents; Martindale's character calls someone a "towelhead," and you can tell they were trying to show that the parents were very "uneducated," but it still leaves a sour note. In that same scene, though, Jesse has apparently told this person (trying to avoid spoilers here!) that her parents were both in a mental institution; when he sees them there alive and well, he accuses her of lying, and she says "I'm technically still telling the truth, they're both crazy" or something like that, which was funny.

Maybe see this movie. It gets a 3 rating from me, which is the highest I usually give "Maybe" movies. This is a cute movie for a matinee, and it's not a bad way to spend about two hours, but it's not one you need to rush out and see - you can catch it on Blu-ray or streaming in a few months too. I did love the A-list cast - I haven't even mentioned Hector Elizondo or Aasif Mandvi, either - but that is typical of these holiday-themed films, and many of them are returnees from Marshall's previous movies. I'd recommend this film for anyone who likes cute rom-coms or chick flicks, or if you want to be mildly entertained; if you're looking for something a bit more hilarious, then I'd recommend skipping it.

Mother's Day is in theaters today, April 29th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 118 minutes. 3 stars out of 5.

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