Jun 082016
Mother's Day Poster
Title: Mother’s Day
Director: Garry Marshall
Starring: Jennifer Aniston,
Kate Hudson,
Julia Roberts,
Jason Sudeikis,
Jack Whitehall
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 1 Hour 58 mins
Music: John Debney
Studio: Lionsgate
Certificate: US: PG-13
UK: 12
Release Date: US: Apr 29 2016
UK: Jun 10 2016
See If You Like: New Years Eve,
Valentine’s Day
A gift your Mother won’t want come Mother’s Day…


A film filled with blatant racism, outright emotional manipulation, sexism, razor-thin plot lines, dozens of continuity errors, and a complete lack of intentional comedy, Mother’s Day sadly delivers everything you’d expect from the latest Garry Marshall directed, holiday-themed, comedy/romance movie.

After New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day (two holidays which are actually big occasions to many, and often revolve around relationships), Marshall’s latest movie hinges on the misguided notion anyone actually cares about Mother’s Day – more than enough to buy a $2 card, or take their ma for a slap-up steak at ‘Spoons – it’s just unrealistic Garry, Mother’s Day isn’t Christmas Day, it’s not even Pancake Day, it’s a non-day and a blatantly obvious crutch to force some manipulative monologues and ‘heartfelt’ emotion into a lifeless shell of a film.

Despite a hugely likeable ensemble cast, including the likes of Jennifer Aniston (Cake); Kate Hudson (How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days); Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman); Timothy Olyphant (Justified); Sarah Chalke (Scrubs); Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses); Jack Whitehall (Bad Education); Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland); Margo Martingale (Justified); Aasif Mandvi (The Internship); and a brief appearance by Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club); with a series of slightly interconnecting stories (there are sisters, friends, and some stories which overlap by pure and partially pointless happenstance), there’s sadly very little to like about the joyless Mother’s Day movie itself.

Each of the stories are paper-thin; a single mum has to cope with seeing her children grow close to her ex-husband’s hot young wife; a single Dad has to get past his wife’s passing while becoming a better father to his daughters; two sisters have to reconnect with their mother after lying to her about their lives (being gay, and hiding a non-white husband/child); and an adopted child attempts to reconnect with her mother before she can move past her abandonment issues; and because there are so many, and each strand has to come to a perfect resolution (either completing their journey or having a character come to a pathetically predictable revelation), not one feels fully fleshed out, or worthy of any audience investment.


All the jokes and set pieces fall totally flat (despite certain scenes having the potential for hilarity), the hilarious Jack Whitehall (who actually plays a stand-up comic much like his real-life self) is actually written to be far less funny than he is in real life (he’s still hugely likeable here, yet gets a huge applause after performing a frankly awful stand-up routine which features barely any jokes and simply talks about feelings – in a manner which is generally offensive to fathers), and instead of anything witty or original the runtime is simply peppered with outright racism (both subtle, and blindingly obvious), and lowest common denominator chaff which is unworthy of even the slightest giggle.

With a disgusting amount of continuity errors and general plot holes, unmissable sexism towards men, a frankly dire soundtrack, cringe-worthy emotional monologues, a complete lack of innovation, and performances which are instantly forgettable all round (despite a strong cast, and acceptable turns from the stars given their material), there really is nothing to like about Mother’s Day – the definition of an effortless phoned-in film. Love Actually this is not.

Matt Wheeldon@TheMattWheeldon.

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