Reviewed by: Jennifer Hanley
|Featuring:||Patricia Heaton … Actress
Sean Astin … Actor
Sarah Drew … Allyson
Sammi Hanratty … Zoe
Harry Shum Jr. … Joey
Abbie Cobb … Bridgette
Anjelah Johnson-Reyes … Hostess
Alex Kendrick … Pastor Ray
Logan White … Izzy
Trace Adkins … Bones
|Director:||Andrew Erwin—“October Baby”|
|Producer:||Kevin Downes Production
Erwin Brothers Films
Four Boys Films
Pure Flix Entertainment
What could go wrong? Allyson, a Christian stay-at-home mom of three is feeling burnt out. She is having a hard time keeping up with her children, her house is a mess, she feels like a failure and is just generally miserable. So, she plans a much deserved, mom’s night out. Her husband, Sean, encourages her to “unplug” and volunteers to watch the kids for the evening. He is joined by his friend, Kevin and another father, Marco. She invites two friends, Izzy, her best friend, and Sondra the much admired pastor’s wife, to go out for a nice dinner. So what could go wrong?
How about almost everything!?! Plans go awry and things get messy. A baby goes missing, there are visits to a tattoo parlor, a trip to the hospital and a car chase that ends up with everyone at the local jail by the end of the night.
The evening did not go as planned but, “…we know that all things work together for our good” (Romans 8:28). Through these chaotic events and words of wisdom from an unexpected source, the moms learn many lessons, the most important one being that there its no such thing as a perfect mom. All moms, are human beings, with God-given gifts and talents. Yet, all moms have their short comings (even if it doesn’t seem like it from the outside). Mom’s are not called to be perfect but to be themselves and dedicate their lives to pleasing God, not trying to meet all the unrealistic expectations put upon them by the world, media and often themselves.
I personally had mixed feelings about the movie. It was refreshing to watch a comedic movie that did not use the crudeness that most comedies use today to get a laugh. I, also appreciated, the support and the celebration of the high calling of mothers without making the dads look foolish. The privilege of having and raising children is portrayed as a blessing in the movie, even though it is realistic is showing that parenting is difficult at times. (“Children are a heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward” —Psalm 127:3.) I did find, however, the fast paced string of events, that went from bad to worse, to be over-the-top and not always funny.
Since the movie is a Christian faith production, morally it is quite good, especially for a movie in the comedic genre. The only “sexual” content is a kiss between a husband and wife. An exclamation of “Oh crud!” and a woman being referred to as a tramp is the only objectionable language. There is a scene with empty beer bottles.
There is also some “slapsticky” violence. A man is punched in the face, a man is maced, and a woman is accidentally tasered. A policeman draws his gun and makes a man lie on the ground. There are a couple scenes in the movie that take place in a tattoo parlor, and there is a car chase.
“Mom’s Night Out” is a good family, faith-based comedy. At the end, Allyson blogs about her new found knowledge. She says she might be a mess but she is a ”beautiful mess.” She is God’s masterpiece. I felt that the movie in a way is a “beautiful mess” but maybe not quite a masterpiece.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
Painted in broad comic strokes and with no emotional depth, a valentine to motherhood that’s sweet but not sugarcoated, and which doesn’t hard-sell its Christian message. …
—Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
Somewhere between a Lifetime movie and a Nickelodeon sitcom exists “Moms' Nights Out,” a raunch-free romp made to be suffered through by the whole family. What this PG comedy lacks in cursing, it also comes up short on plot, character development, originality, and overall pleasure. … [C-]
—Marc Snetiker, Entertainment Weekly
…dismally unfunny …A shrill feature-length sitcom for the faith-based family values crowd, if nowhere near as good as that sounds. …
—Justin Chang, Variety
…strained, clunkily orchestrated and dismally retrograde film… “Moms’ Night Out” trafficks in the most patronizing images of women, either as addled, neurotic control freaks or haplessly dizzy dames. …
—Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
…a one-dimensional bore… a hectic mess that does just the opposite of what it clearly set out to do: It makes motherhood seem like one of the most ill-conceived ideas since New Coke. …
—Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
…A pratfall-filled night of calamity that’s a refreshingly clean take on the cinematic chestnut [of the “night-out gone bad”]. …
—Bob Hoose, Plugged In
Laughs and truth awkwardly co-mingle …Directors Jon and Andrew Erwin give faith-based humor with social and spiritual relevance their best shot and get two out of three right. …
—Christa Banister, CrossWalk
…fairly entertaining and has an uplifting message of motherhood, infused with a Christian worldview, with some questionable elements requiring caution. …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide
…falls flat …wholly unrealistic portrayal of modern mothers, fathers and even kids… [1½/4]
—Linda Barnard, The Toronto Star