Mother’s Day Blu-ray Review
The late Garry Marshall had a long career making people laugh. He developed such iconic television shows as “Happy Days”, “Mork & Mindy”, “Laverne and Shirley” and “The Odd Couple”. He also made his mark in film with movies like THE FLAMINGO KID, PRETTY WOMAN and THE PRINCESS DIARIES. So he clearly had the pulse of the audience in what they wanted in a comedy. But he clearly was in a rut recently. His last three films dealt with a different holiday. The first was VALENTINE’S DAY. That was a box office hit. The next one was NEW YEAR’S DAY. It didn’t do quite as well as VALENTINE’S DAY, but it still made money. The last one was MOTHER’S DAY. All of the films were overly sentimental and sappy. MOTHER’S DAY is no exception. Hopefully fans remember fondly his successful past and forget his recent work.
MOTHER’S DAY starts with obvious narration from Marshall’s sister Penny. She just goes over what it’s like being a mother. It then divides up into 4-5 stories. Some of these are given more air time. First up is Sandy (Jennifer Aniston), a divorced mother of two boys and a successful interior designer. Her ex-husband Henry (Timothy Olyphant) has just remarried a younger woman named Tina (Shay Mitchell). This of course causes much consternation from Sandy displayed in exaggerated Aniston style.
A second story focuses on Jesse (Kate Hudson). Jesse is married to an Indian man named Russell (Aasif Mandvi) and they have one son. Jesse has been feuding with her mother and hasn’t told her about the marriage or her son. This is because her parents (Margo Martindale, Robert Pine) are bigots and they wouldn’t approve of the relationship. Gabi (Sarah Chalke) is Jesse’s sister and she’s married to Max (Cameron Esposito) and they have a son as well. Gabi hasn’t told her parents either of her relationship because of their ways.
A third story has Jason Sudeikis as Bradley, a widower with two daughters who still hasn’t gotten over his wife’s death in combat. Bradley owns a gym and gets helpful dating advice from three platonic female friends.
A fourth story has Kristin (Britt Robertson), a waitress and mother of a daughter. She has a loving and supportive boyfriend in Zack (Jack Whitehall). Zack is trying to make his mark in the comedy world. Zack has repeatedly asked Kristin to marry him and she turns him down. She isn’t ready because she was adopted and she hasn’t resolved the issue of her mother giving her up.
Then we have Miranda Collins (Julia Roberts) as a HSN host and successful writer. She is managed by longtime Marshall cohort Hector Alizondo. This is a small part for Roberts and she was paid a cool 3 mil for it.
Most of the action takes place in Atlanta. The comedy is so obvious as the day is long. Here is a good example. Bradley asks his oldest daughter what they need from the grocery store. She tells him various foods and then throws in tampons at the end. When I was watching that scene, I practically shouted out that is what she would ask for. This sets up the next comedy bit where the cashier asks for a price check on said tampons. This was funny when Michael Keaton did it in “Mr. Mom” from over 30 years ago. Now it’s just stale. Situations like this happen over and over in MOTHER’S DAY.
Sandy gets upset with Henry and his new wife. Sandy doesn’t like her encroaching on her motherly duties. This leads to the aforementioned freak outs. There’s nothing new here to be explored. Jesse and Gabi’s parents come into town for a surprise visit. What do you think happens there? They don’t approve of either relationship and voice their opinions. Do you believe this will be resolved easily in the end? If you don’t know the answer to that, then you haven’t been paying attention.
Kristin goes to find her mother and take two guesses who her mother turns out to be. This is lazy sitcom stuff that belongs in the scrap heap. Everything just fits perfectly into place in this film. Life isn’t like this. It’s messy and unpredictable. MOTHER’S DAY also throws in a wacky RV ride, some hospital hijinks and a float that is supposed to look like a womb. All of these jokes just fall flat. Alizondo and Roberts have a slightly amusing callback to “Pretty Woman”, but that’s about it.
MOTHER’S DAY is a harmless unmemorable comedy that is lazily executed and written. It’s sad that Marshall ended his career with this turkey. Pass on this holiday.
Video: The video is fine. Atlanta is shown in all its glory.
Audio: The sound was solid throughout. The dialogue is easily heard.
Deleted Scenes (4:59): There are six scenes in all. Sudeikis is involved in three of them. Such gems left on the cutting room floor involve changing a diaper, teaching driving, apologizing to a ref and some funny singing. None would have made that much of a difference to the final product.
Gag Reel (9:48): It is a time honored bonus feature. We first get the flubbed lines, Mother Nature and transportation issues. Half of the feature has the cast and crew wishing Mother’s Day greetings. You can’t escape the schmaltz even here.