Mother’s Day Review

The Plot

Three generations come together in the week leading up to Mother’s Day in a series of neatly intertwined feelgood stories delivered by an all-star ensemble cast.

The Good

Though it’s out of season upon release here in the UK (Father’s Day is just round the corner!) director Garry Marshall gives this collection of sweet stories that surround mothers day the light and bright look it deserves. The four main stories tackle struggles with widowed fathers, divorced mothers, estranged daughters and a young couple who are just starting their lives together with their child.

To take us through the various plots, we get a typically all-star cast including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudekis to name a few. Those familiar with Marshall’s well established formula will no doubt know exactly what to expect with this third offering. Just like Marshall’s previous holiday themed rom-coms New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, eventually the characters bump into one another in some way. Providing a predictably satisfying array of combined conclusions to each conveniently interwoven plot line.

The crucial benefit of having multiple stories and a vast cast of familiar faces is that there’s more chance of audiences finding something or someone they like, while there’s less risk they’ll notice any weaker elements or all the shameless genre cliches. In essence it’s a safety in numbers approach, pioneered by the genre redefining Love Actually and still proving a surprisingly effective trick for repackaging overly familiar saccharine material for holiday box office crowds.

The Bad

The main problem for Mother’s Day, apart from the mistimed international release, will be if audience expect anything more form this than Marshell’s past holiday-themed ensemble efforts. In truth this new film actually may struggle to even merely meet expectations of being of a similar caliber to its modestly appreciated predecessors.

Mother’s Day’s script doesn’t honestly offer much in terms of humour, even managing to make Jack Whitehall’s usually brilliant stand-up skills feel wooden and bland. This wouldn’t be as much of an obvious problem were it not for the fact that his character’s stand-up routine is used a key plot point. The only think that makes this squandering of comedy potential even more frustrating is that Jon Lovitz hosts the film’s poorly scripted stand up competition but never actually makes any jokes of his own.

The film might raise a smile or the occasional giggle from less demanding audiences and those with a particular taste for Marshall’s tame trademark comedy style. However even those who do enjoy Marshall’s ensemble holiday homages will probably find they preferred his more entertaining past efforts and would truthfully be happier re-watching Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve..

The Ugly Truth

If you’re a fan of the surprisingly persistent trend of holiday themed rom-com compilations, you’ll no doubt find something to keep you entertained. Just don’t expect anything of the same classic quality as Love Actually.

Review by Johnny Ellis

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