Monday, May 12, 2014

Mom's Night Out: Scene One, Take Two

For Mother’s Day, Lisa invited me to see Mom’s Night Out with her. Despite my initial lack of interest based on the previews and reviews so far, I said yes.
 
Overall, the movie was funny.  The opening generated some “are you kidding me?” eye-rolling and the end got just a tad bit preachy, but I laughed through the pseudo-realistic adventures during the middle (and longest) section of the film.
The premise reminded me of other stereotyped wacky adventures:  Date Night, Adventures in Babysitting, Blind Date (yes, I’m showing my age), and the Hangover to name a few.  Many of the characters are stereotypes of a sort, although that shouldn’t distract you too much from appreciating the humor. 
 
Just in case you haven’t read dozens of reviews popping up in your Facebook feed, I’ll give you a brief summary. 
SAHM (Stay-at-home-mom) to three-- with a “means-well” husband who is away on business so often that their daughter draws him as an airplane in her crayons-on-the-wall rendition of the family portrait -- is unsatisfied with her life. She’s a neat freak, control freak, who confesses that she’s surprisingly unhappy (not unfulfilled, just unhappy) living her long-time childhood dream of being married to a wonderful man and a mother to three beautiful children. We get a glimpse into her life on Mother’s Day, which I freely admit I could not identify with in any way. 
 
(This admission leads Lisa to think I’m a mutant from another planet, because she recognizes herself in most of those crazy SAHM mommy moments.  However, I have never been a SAHM mom at any time, so what is portrayed in the movie is foreign to me.  Any of you who have worked throughout your children’s entire childhood (including summers and holiday weeks off school) will nod with me in agreement.)
 
Our heroine tells her best-friend-since-school that she’s bought a Groupon to some ooh-la-la restaurant, they need a night out, and the friend suggests they invite the pastor’s wife because she looks stressed.  After some typical logistics issues (that I did identify with) our threesome embarks off to dinner and hilarity ensues.  I’m not giving anything else away because from the minute they enter the restaurant (aura) until they conclude the evening (call off the chopper…awww…) I chuckled, rolled my eyes, and laughed out loud. There was no need to identify with any of these women during this part. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t try to identify with them.
However, as a mother to a (non-driving age) teen, I did find myself drawn more to Sondra, the pastor’s wife, always on the job, carefully managing how others see her, texting  back and forth with her  (driving age) teen  about the family’s rules. (A “rave” is not a party…)

 
It’s a funny movie appropriate for the entire family; how rare is that?  And marketing it to Mom’s on Mother’s Day weekend is akin to pushing out a cheesy romantic comedy on Valentine’s Day weekend. The producers wisely utilized the Mommy Blogger world to promote the film so mommy groups everywhere are buying tickets en masse and planning their own mommy night out.  I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.  
If you read some of the negative reviews that snarkily claim an overtly biblical message, I say don’t sweat it. The church is simply the chosen setting where we see she connects with her friends, and it could easily be anyone’s parish or place of worship where you make friends and connect with others.  The message that I belong to God is timeless and in my opinion crosses faith.  More importantly is the message for moms to be easier on themselves, to not strive for an impossible perfection, to let it go… let it go… (wait, wrong movie.)
I did enjoy seeing the movie with my sister (thanks sis!), although I can’t think of a better group to see it with than my mommy friends. Oops, my mommy friends are spread out across the country, from California to Long Island, from Michigan to Texas.  (Big shout out to my Sept99 moms!)  The point is, go with your husband, your kids, your mother, your sisters, or your friends.  You deserve a night out, and hopefully your adventure will be just as hilarious in its own way.
 
PS - if you've seen the movie, stop by the movie website for more resources, clips, forum, etc.

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