Mother's Day (2016) Jul 18, 2016 17:31:00 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Jul 18, 2016 17:31:00 GMT -5
Mother's Day (2016)
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston in Mother's Day.
At this point, the public doesn't seem to ask for nor refuse the films of Garry Marshall, but just accepts them with a groan, a shrug, and a willingness to look the other way when the local multiplex boasts his latest movie in hopes they'll disappear as quickly as they appeared. At one point, the 81-year-old Bronx-born director made some of your favorite films to watch on a rainy Sunday and eat Häagen-Dazs to, such as Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and even the two Princess Diaries films. But then, somewhere along the way, Marshall made it his mission to take secondary American "holidays" and turn them into a series of cheaply strung together, almost unbearably schmaltzy romance anthologies that capitalized off of the idea of true love and chance encounters and not in the good way.
Following Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, Marshall's next holiday victim is Mother's Day, a contemptibly boring picture revolving around a series of characters, particularly mothers, in their own troubled positions as Mother's Day draws close. One of them is Sandy (Jennifer Aniston), a divorced mother of two young boys whose ex-husband has just remarried a younger, attractive woman who has become a greater force in her kids' lives. With that, Sandy struggles to still be the loyal mother she used to be in the face of "fresher" competition. Another woman is Miranda (Julia Roberts), an accomplished and disciplined writer who gave up her only daughter Kristin (Britt Robertson) at birth. In the wake of her wedding, Kristin's friend Jesse (Kate Hudson) decides that it's high-time she go out and try to find who her real mother is, while Jesse herself is blindsided when her parents come to visit her.
Then there's Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), a single father still struggling to cope with his own two daughters after the death of his Marine Corp wife. As fate (also known as the screenwriters - Tom Hines, Anya Kochoff Romano, and Matt Walker) would have it, Bradley winds up engaging in a meet-cute with Sandy, who he finds himself attracted to solely for the reason that she's clumsy and ostensibly authentic. Such a basis for a relationship can only blossom and grow from there.
Mother's Day's biggest problem is that of many anthology movies and that is the fact that many of these characters' stories would be interesting on their own merits if they weren't haphazardly thrown together and shortchanged in a large film that tries to accommodate all of them rather than humanize any of them. Sandy's story alone could've been a film on its own, ripe with human interest, even bearing the same feel-good tone and meet-cute style relationship. However, the trio of writers clutter the story with so many pale plot-strands and stereotypical, one-dimensional characters that it's nearly impossible to feel for anyone.
Most of the actors, particularly Aniston and Sudeikis, get by almost solely on their amiable personas and their inherent likability as actors. When you're a seasoned actor who has proven yourself in various roles and you get handled the kind of role up-and-comers should be taking on, all you can really do, I feel, is inject yourself into the role in terms of your personality. In that respect, the cast does what they can with what they have.
They can't, however, mend a script that feels cobbled together of romantic comedy odds and ends nor magically fill a two-hour runtime for a film that feels dead on arrival, which is arguably the best way one can summarize Mother's Day. It's a brutal excursion through the drudgery of a genre that makes me question how much more life and energy it has left in it than the found footage genre, and how many more brain cells, for that matter.
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, and Britt Robertson. Directed by: Garry Marshall.