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Jesskel & Ebert Reviews Moms’ Night Out

I kept hearing a lot of buzz about Moms’ Night Out back in May when it was released in theaters.

“You should totally see this movie!”

“Hello?! Sarah Drew AND Sean Austin, Jess! You love them!”

Well I was a poop and never got a chance to see it in theaters, but I did get an invite to celebrate the film’s DVD release on September 2nd. Any invite that gets as meta as a moms’ night out to celebrate Moms’ Night Out is alright with me. I rallied up Victoria and shipped out to the way-too-hip-for-me-but-maybe-I’m-still-cool-enough Spoke & Weal salon where they schmoozed me with a rockstar blowout, wine and more delicious finger foods than I could shake a stick at. I didn’t have a stick to shake so I settled with letting my tastebuds step in for the night. And by wine I mean I grabbed a glass and before I could take the first sip, I found myself living a nightmare only Alanis Morissette lyrics could foreshadow as I stared at a black fly. Right there in my chardonnay.

It was a lovely night of food and meeting a group of women who, without having to say a word, understood the treasure of having a “night out on the town” on a Tuesday to be as fulfilling as the days we used to let loose until all hours of the night only to maybe forget what it was we even ended up doing for all those hours the next morning. But then it was time to go home because by 9pm on a Tuesday, the only thing we could think about was the dreaded early morning drop off that awaited us after the Z’s we managed to snag when we each got home.

Of course, I still hadn’t watched the movie so…my night was only beginning. Or half over. Or something something that has to do with poor perception of time.

Jesskel & Ebert Reviews Moms' Night Out

I do have to say that the opening scene of the movie, where we find Allyson struggling to start her dream mommyblog, made me cringe. I also realize the pseudo irony of that statement in this medium.

I get that this is a culturally relevant dimension we can add to the characters in our nowadays films, but for me, it evoked a mixed reaction. Initially it was a grunt, quickly morphing into an attention to that established character dimension for the rest of the movie. I won’t spoil how, but they do ultimately circle back to it at the end. We all know by now that I’m a “look a little closer” kinda gal. I took that same approach with Moms’ Night Out because there was a near record breaking number of messages that they packed into this puppy.

Was I keen on all of them? Not really. Do I think that the most prominent ones will resonate with a specific audience? Absolutely. Is this movie super universal? Not even a little.

I wasn’t a fan of how they portrayed the dad characters. Especially not the moment when Sean Austin’s character, a dad, delivered a line referring to himself as a “babysitter”. Or how there is a character, to put it plainly, who’s portrayed through oversimplified satire of an anxious, inept father of twins. Those things in or out of the movies, rub me the wrong way. Strongly enough that it persuaded me to make a final “one thumb up” judgment on the entire film.

I was a big fan of how there was a repeat theme of mom needing to take care of mom before she’s really able to take care of everything else. And that we are our toughest critics. Because we are. There’s a point where the most unexpected character in the cast delivers the most profound wisdom to the main character when he alludes to the fact that her conflict is that she doesn’t think she’s enough for herself and not that she isn’t enough for everyone else. Parenthood makes us crazy. Period.

All in all, I think it’s a decent flick. There are some pretty solid jokes and hijinks to carry it into a recommend for those that really like clean comedy.

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