Our Moms’ Night Out review comes just in time for you to get a look before it opens in theaters on Friday, May 9, Mother’s Day weekend. While attending the Evangelical Press Convention in Anaheim, California, the Shattered team had the chance to review Mom’s Night Out.
I hesitate to say something is laugh-out-loud funny because I believe it is quite possibly the most overused phrase out there, but I can think of no better phrase for my Moms’ Night Out review. It captured me from the very beginning and had me “laughing out loud” so often I almost forgot how uncomfortable I was sitting in chairs not meant for extended movie viewing. And I did not laugh alone! Within minutes it was clear Moms’ Night Out was going to be one of those rare movies that men and women of all ages would enjoy.
Moms’ Night Out stars Sarah Drew as Allyson, the harried mother of three exceedingly active young children and the wife of Sean, played by Sean Astin. Allyson thoroughly believes she should be able to figure out how to be “that” mother – the one who’s got it all figured out – with well behaved kids, home-cooked meals and a clean house. She thinks she should, but in truth she does not have it even half together.
Patricia Heaton plays Sondra, a mother and pastor’s wife, who doesn’t quite understand how autocorrect works. Several from my generation laughed and nodded with complete understanding when Sondra typed out a response to her sick child’s text and suggested she take some Typhoid and eat a little chicken poodle poop. By far, my favorite Moms’ Night Out character is Bones, the kind-hearted, gentle giant played to perfection by Trace Adkins –who is also my favorite country singer next to Blake Shelton and Keith Urban. But I digress.
After Allyson’s children have spent the day trying to do what they imagine will make her Mother’s Day special (and we all know or at least remember what that can be like), Sean finds Allyson in the closet watching live video feed of a mother eagle caring perfectly for her young. She has been in there for hours and claims to be stress paralyzed. Sean tells her that isn’t a real thing, but he is also a wise man and suggests that perhaps she could use a night out on the town with her friends. No kids. No husbands. He assures her the men will watch the kids so the girls can go out for a nice, fun, stress-free evening.
Allyson and her friends dress up and head out in her mini-van; they get into some trouble and the husbands also get into some trouble; some of the girls wind up in jail; there is a parakeet named Mama, some car chase scenes and a few trips to a tattoo parlor. Finally, Allyson sits for a moment with Bones who unexpectedly imparts wisdom that surprises them both and puts things into perspective.
My children are grown, but I am still young enough to remember what parenting them was like. As I watched Moms’ Night Out, I found the level of chaos portrayed in Allyson’s life honest and quite familiar. I envied her attempts to remain calm and appreciated when she finally couldn’t. This film recognizes the insecurity every mother likely feels at some point and embraces the fact that it’s okay anyway. Quite fittingly, I found the best advice came from the pastor’s wife as Sondra told Allyson:
“Life isn’t about a parking space. It’s not about God taking all our problems away and giving us a perfect life. It’s about finding meaning and joy and purpose. In this – in the crazy – in the chaos.”
Moms’ Night Out offers hilarity, depth, honesty and (did I say?) hilarity to viewers of all ages. I will be watching this one again, and I guarantee I will be laughing all over again!
[Top image via www.momsnightoutmovie.com]