"Moms' Night Out" Movie Review: 2 Stars
by Roger Moore
Faith-based films have become commonplace this year. But faith-based comedies? Comedies that work?
That's still a very short historical list -- the George Burns blockbuster "Oh God" and
"Moms' Night Out" doesn't join their ranks.
A PG-rated romp that never romps, "Moms' Night Out" lacks the jokes, sight gags, pacing and performances that laughs are made of.
A funny movie doesn't have to leave you with a "Hangover" to give you the giggles. But when you're sending three mothers out for an "epic" night on the town and you're abstaining from alcohol, profanity and jokes about sex, you'd better make sure the gags you do include are killer and that you've got a cast that can land those laughs.
She's unhappy, so her husband urges her to take a night for herself. She talks her mother-of-two pal Izzy (
Izzy's simpering, helpless husband (
As the night runs from losing their reservation at a restaurant to losing their phones to losing their minivan to losing a baby and their husbands losing their minds, overwhelmed by simple child care, "Moms' Night Out" sets itself up for laughs that it rarely delivers.
For 45 minutes, the writing/directing Erwin brothers ("October Baby," the abortion drama, was theirs) can't manage so much as a smile, mainly due to the blandness of their leading lady. Drew ("Grey's Anatomy") is good at whiny, not good at amusingly whiny.
Then we hit the tattoo parlor, and "Moms' Night Out" starts to find its funny bone. Christian singer
With missed communications, a lost parakeet and a lot of scenes of manic women, shrieking at cops, a stoner and a British cabbie, "Moms' Night Out" gets up a head of steam, for a few minutes anyway.
The very best gag suggests a more promising direction the film might have taken. Heaton's Sondra panics when empty beer bottles are left on their table at a bowling alley. She can't have her parishioners thinking she drinks. A whole night of a "perfect" preacher's wife/mom trying to protect her reputation might have been funny. A few simple sermonettes about motherhood and parenting work. But the Erwins learn that "sermonizing is easy; comedy is hard."
MPAA rating: PG (for mild thematic elements and some action). Running time: 1:54.
"Moms' Night Out" Movie Trailer
"Moms' Night Out" is a comedy starring Patricia Heaton. When a few moms want a night out, alone and without the kids, all they have to do is get their husbands to watch the kids. But will all go according to plan?
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'Moms' Night Out' Movie Review & Movie Trailer