It’s the film that will have every mother holding back tears as they are recognized and assured that their job as a care taker of their family is valued.
Being a mom is a 24 hour job. And for Allyson (Sarah Drew), a stay at home mother with 3 children, the chaos never stops. She is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and questioning her happiness in life. All of her “dreams” have come true, yet she is miserable? This is why when her always traveling husband (Sean Astin) is finally in town, she quickly schedules a girl’s night out with her two best friends. Allyson, her longtime friend Izzy (Logan White) and the pastor’s wife, Sondra (Patricia Heaton) get all gussied up and ready to use their groupon for the most talked about new restaurant. But of course, this wouldn’t be a fun family film without its obstacles. What begins with a reservation mix up, goes onto become a night of madness involving car chases, no cell phones, dislocated shoulders, and a search for a missing baby!
It may sound like a lot to take in, but it is all handled in a controlled approach. You won’t ever really be on the edge of your seat in this film. The moment you almost think you’re in for some suspense, it will quickly be squashed by a reaffirming scene that guarantees everything is okay. Luckily, Mom’s Night Out’s main focus is not about the mystery or how everything can go wrong in one night. This film is sending a message, surprisingly, a spiritual one that is delivered through small doses of liberal Christian sermons. These sermons try to disguise themselves as casual conversation that somehow never feels out of place. Early in the film we meet the three women at church and you are aware this is going to be a faith-based film, geared to resonate with young parents and multigenerational families.
The acting is what saves this film from being a potentially cheesy predictable comedy. Sarah Drew does a great job embodying a frantic mother who is just about ready to explode at any minute. While Sean Astin plays a more subtle and less comedic supporting husband role. I personally enjoyed the relationship between Patricia Heaton’s character and her teenage daughter (Sammi Hanratty). The two played off each other well, and portrayed one of the more genuine arguments in parenting. Country singer, Trace Adkins, plays a biker tattoo artist that comes to the women’s rescue at their time of desperation. He fails when trying to deliver moments of laughter. But in a climactic scene that is both touching and revealing to the film’s theme, Adkins gives an effortless speech that seemingly comes from the heart as he mentions Jesus and his own mom. He explains to Allyson that she shouldn’t be so hard on herself, questioning whether or not she’s doing things right. He continues to say that Allyson’s role as a mom is not one that she chose, but was chosen for her by God.
Mom’s Night Out is specifically meant for moms. I can’t say a group of teens or even young adults will want to choose this film over Neighbors, or some of the other movies opening this weekend. But for all the moms who want to feel a great sense of appreciation this Mother’s Day, you would be most satisfied with Mom’s Night Out.
Mom’s Night Out hits theaters May 9.