By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) — Good intentions are not enough to sustain the wholesome but weak comedy "Moms’ Night Out" (TriStar). Though faith filled and family-friendly, the movie — helmed by directors, and brothers, Jon and Andrew Erwin ("October Baby") — is just not very funny.
Stressed-out moms Allyson (Sarah Drew), Sondra (Patricia Heaton) and Izzy (Andrea Logan White) take a break for a night on the town. But the relaxing excursion they’ve planned soon turns into a series of frantic misadventures.
Partly, these are based on miscommunication with their husbands: Allyson’s supportive mate Sean (Sean Astin), Izzy’s easily overwhelmed hubby Marco (Robert Amaya) and Sondra’s solid spouse Ray (Alex Kendrick), a Baptist minister. But they also involve Sean’s sister Bridgette (Abbie Cobb) whose infant son — left in the care of her responsibility-shy ex, Joey (Harry Shum Jr.) — has gone missing.
The quest for the baby leads to a tattoo parlor where one of its artists, leather-clad biker Bones (country singer Trace Adkins), joins the mix. And, since Allyson’s minivan has also inexplicably disappeared, a British-born cabbie (David Hunt) gets drawn into the chase as well.
Christian themes are prominent in "Moms’ Night Out," and the quiet moments during which faith occupies center stage are more successful than the manufactured mayhem to which most of the running time is devoted. In the same serious vein, the picture also boasts a moving affirmation of the rewards of parenthood.
Though much of the humor falls flat, there are a few amusing interludes. One of these features Allyson’s frustrated and flustered interaction with a spacy restaurant hostess played by Anjelah Johnson. Overall, however, there’s something strained about all the would-be wackiness on display.
The film contains fleeting slapstick violence. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.
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