Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer
What are the biblical guidelines for dating relationships? Answer
How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer
Lauren Graham Gabriel Macht
Tom Everett Scott
|Producer:||Norm Waitt, Scott Niemeyer, Paul Brooks|
“She’s just your normal, overprotective, overbearing, over-the-top mother.”
Catering entrepreneur Daphne Wilder is the single mom of three beautiful, grown daughters who comprise the nucleus of her life. Never having experienced a satisfying romance of her own, she is anxious to see that each of her tightly-knit brood is happily settled into a marriage.
Following a lovely montage of classic mother-and-daughter photos set to music, the film opens with a series of three wedding scenes involving the three Wilder sisters. First, Maggie (Lauren Graham) is married, followed by Mae’s (Piper Perabo) wedding, and then comes Milly (Mandy Moore) who is also dressed in white, but rather than following suit as the third bride, we find Milly cloaked in a caterer’s uniform and cheerfully assembling an elaborate wedding feast for one of the clients of her mother’s catering business. A distressing cell phone call from Mom, Daphne (Diane Keaton), interrupts her busy meal preparations. Daphne is calling to talk about the state of Milly’s love life, and the stage is set for this movie about a meddling mother who is obsessed with helping the daughter who is most like her to not end up like her: alone.
After Milly is dumped by her boyfriend and left in a crying fit which resolutely ends in a declaration that she does not need a romantic relationship and that she wants to be “Just like you, Mom…,” Daphne’s determination turns to desperation and she secretly posts a want ad on the internet seeking the perfect suitor for her daughter, followed by a day-long screening session of applicants which she meets and interviews at a jazz cafe. After a parade of 16 ridiculous “Mr. Wrong’s,” Daphne is engaged in a pleasant conversation by the charming and affable young guitarist at the cafe, who has been looking on with curiosity. After Daphne explains the situation to an amused Johnny (Gabriel Macht), the two are interrupted by the arrival of candidate 17, handsome and accomplished architect Jason (Tom Everett Scott) who quickly becomes “Mr. Right” in Daphne’s eyes. She excitedly schemes with Jason for he and Milly to meet “by chance,” and dismissing Johnny’s piqued interest as another “irresistibly charming” man who would ultimately break her daughter’s heart, Daphne feels that she has finally solved her problem and offers prodding and encouragement from the sidelines as Milly and Jason begin a relationship.
The hitch: Johnny from the cafe has also found a way to meet Milly in spite of Daphne’s dismissal, and much to her mother’s dismay, Milly finds herself embroiled in relationships with both men.
While the basic premise of this story is somewhat palatable and could have blossomed into a charming mother and daughter story, what was ultimately produced was a series of worn-out jokes, base sexual humor, and eye-rolling slapstick comedy.
I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to see Diane Keaton grossly over-acting in her role, to the point that her character appeared ridiculous. It is indicated in the trailers for this movie that Daphne is a sort of “every girl’s mom,” yet who we meet instead is a flailing, squawking woman who is humored by her daughters as they wink behind her back, and she ultimately only helps them by stepping out of the way and allowing them to ignore her mis-advice. The character was wholly unlikable and irritating, yet I don’t believe that is what was intended by the filmmakers.
Mandy Moore gives an unremarkable performance as Milly, a character who is also difficult to like or empathize with as she carries on an always stilted relationship with temperamental and somewhat rude Jason at the same time as she forms a soul-mate connection with likeable and understanding Johnny, who is also a single dad. While neither man knows she is dating the other, they both introduce her to their families (including Johnny’s young son) and both seem to envision a long-term relationship with her. Milly is also sleeping with both men, and discusses this with her sister and mothers, who offer no dissenting advice but seem to quite enjoy this back-and-forth frolic as Milly selfishly tries to make up her mind about which man she will break up with.
Lauren Graham’s role as sister Maggie epitomizes the term “cliche” as she is a doctor of psychiatry who counsels a trembling man laying on the inevitable prop couch offering up a stream of pathetic complaints about bullying in his childhood and threatening suicide at every turn. There are a few such scenes in the movie, and this proverbial dead horse has been beaten so many times I wonder when Hollywood will tire of it as audiences have.
(This list is merely a “highlight reel” of the extensive sexual content.)
There are multiple scenes of various couples in bed engaged in sexual activity. There is no explicit nudity, but very suggestive sound and movement.
There is an inordinate amount of sexual dialog among the mother and three daughters throughout the entire film, including talk of orgasms and of circumcision. Daphne asks Milly what an orgasm feels like, and Milly awkwardly details and acts out a lengthy description.
During a scene in which the mother and daughters are at a spa receiving massages, the female masseuse make numerous crude sexual remarks in an Asian language, which are subtitled.
Several elderly couples begin to kiss after seeing a romantic display between Milly and one of her suitors, including two elderly women who passionately kiss one another.
Daphne and her daughters are shown in at the spa preparing for their massages, and the three younger women are all in bras and panties while Daphne is in a shirt and her panties. The camera zooms in and pans over each of the women’s buttocks and they remain on camera in their underwear throughout a gratuitous scene which seemed never ending as my husband kept his face turned away.
Johnny’s very young son says to women “You have a [clinical term for female anatomy] and I have a [clinical term for male anatomy].” He also asks Milly, “Can I see it?” This behavior is never corrected, only met with smiles and laughter.
When Daphne goes on-line in search of a site on which to post her want ad for Milly, she mistakenly stumbles onto an internet pornography site which begins playing a pornographic video. We see non-explicit scenes from the video, and hear very explicit sound effects as she nervously scrambles to try to turn it off, which she is unable to do for some time. Meanwhile, her dog who seems disturbed by the audio begins “humping” the ottoman. Later, Daphne returns to the site and sits watching the video until she is interrupted by a telephone call from one of her daughters.
During Daphne’s massage treatment, the masseuse climbs on top of her and grabs her head, jerking it upward and bending her backward. She screams in pain and cracking can be heard. This is not disturbing to older people, but unpleasant to watch.
6 sexual references, 7 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, 1 term for homosexuals, 1 religious profanity, 20 religious exclamations (list found at Kids-in-Mind)
This film is an embarrassing display of classless, crude, and selfish behavior. I can find nothing redeeming in it on which to comment. Moral concerns aside, it was poorly scripted and largely over-acted, and the plot dragged quite slowly. I do not recommend it for any audience, and would have gladly fled the theater after the first ten or fifteen minutes had I not been obligated to write this review.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.