Mother’s Day Review - Solid, A Fun Entertaining Chick Film

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Mother’s Day, from Open Road Films and Gulfstream Pictures, presents an enjoyable family dramedy, centering around the one day every year where the unsung hero of each family is celebrated and the decisions, situations and consequences are the realities of life.

Directed by Garry Marshall, Mother’s Day stars Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Britt Robertson, Timothy Olyphant, Hector Elizondo and Jack Whitehall.  Mother’s Day also stars add Margo Martindale, Aasif Mandvi, Robert Pine, Sarah Chalke, Cameron Esposito, Shay Mitchell, and Jennifer Garner.

Mother’s Day begins with a series of vignettes that introduce the characters. Sandy, played by Jennifer Aniston and Henry, played by Timothy Olyphant, the happiest divorced couple, sharing custody, are on the verge of more changes with Henry’s intriguing and mysterious need to talk privately.

Childless Miranda, played by Julia Roberts, with her agent, Lance Wallace, played by Hector Elizondo, the Queen of the Home Shopping Network she is on top of her career and heading to Hotlanta for this mother’s day.

Jesse, played by Kate Hudson, her sister, Gabi played by Sarah Chalke, are each hiding secrets from their parents, Flo, played by Margo Martindale and Earl, played Robert Pine.

Bradley, played by Jason Sudeikis, former Marine Master Sargent and husband to 2nd Lt. Dana Barton, played by Jennifer Garner killed in the line of duty, and single parent raising two girls, Vicki, played by Ella Anderson and Rachel, played by Jessi Case.

Working on the six degrees of separation theory, Mother’s Day has Sandy, Jesse and Gabi, connected through friendships.

Miranda, an island carrying the hidden baggage expertly and elegantly, except for her relationship with Lance, has stoically held herself together focused only on career. To the public she is ultra successful.

Bradley, quite oppositely refuses to feel and refuses to allow sorrow to invade, like the enemy, the camp of his home. His daughters, casually, walk away from their Mother’s headstone, time, texts, and other distractions pull them.

After our mysterious first introduction to Henry, Sandy is on the phone with Jesse trying to decipher the meaning, and possibly read the tea leaves hoping to have the emotional walls in place when he decides to show up.

As the phone call ends Jesse and her sister Gabi are discussing their less than idyllic upbringing the parents, Flo and Earl, that control them still, even as they have both moved away, married, lied about spouses and sexual orientations.

Suddenly Mother’s Day takes an unusual turn as we end up in Shorty’s a local bar with new mom Kristin, played by Britt Robertson and Zack, her British guy, father of her child, and stand-up comic, played by Jake Whitehall.

Intersections begin as Miranda decides she wants to redo the set and local designers are vetted with Sandy, our happy divorcee, the eventual chosen candidate. Her online profile presents her as a cool sophisticate. As life would have it all that unravels on this day, in full view and at one of the most important pitch meetings she's presented.

With a ripped blouse, an explosive encounter with the consummate PR talent rep who nearly calls the marines to handle the situation, Sandy who at this point is distraught and sure she has blown the opportunity, barely manages to get away when she is summoned to return.

Suddenly she has been given a second chance, and as she digs her presentation out of the trash, she is sitting in front of the very cool Miranda. Any person who has ever had that first big pitch can appreciate this scene and the responses as Miranda explains what not to apologize over and why.

Mother's Day also presents the omission of details in relationships. For anyone who has ever withheld details or offered them only on a need to know basis as we all often do, our two sisters, Jesse and Gabi are facing a cataclysmic intersection of their own as RV loving Mom and Dad have decided to surprise them with a visit hoping, of course, to meet the fabricated families that both have presented.

Our Master Sergeant, Bradley, is facing battles of his own as his 16-year-old daughter is unable to cope with the dual roles she been forced to take on since her Mom died. Unable to grieve the girls seek out a friend who helps them which becomes the wakeup call.

Miranda, our career driven, writer and television host, also has a few surprises coming her way. Her long-time friend and agent, Lance, offers words of wisdom on life that are heartfelt and should be constitutional. I guess in a way they are. 

The road that brings our Mother’s Day families to the conclusions are like life itself, sometimes we see the future coming, other times, it can knock the wind out of us and other times the road is so clear, so free, not lonely just alone that even that stretch can be filled with beauty.

Mother’s Day is a fun, entertaining film. The talent, of course, is right on with every beat. Hitting each of the moments with such truth. It is a very relatable film. 

With a cast as known as our four leads, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Jason Sudeikis, it’s silly to separate them. The entire ensemble worked well together. The talent is solid, on, the comedic timing fine-tuned and the dramatic genuine.

Director Garry Marshall, of course, is known for his golden touch with chick films. He has a way of bringing all the baggage that we hold, even that carried in Louis Vuitton, and present it gently with great care, honesty, candor and integrity so even the bad is redeemable. 

Mother’s Day is 124 minutes of sound and trustworthy life advice. Golden nuggets of wisdom written and delivered so well that it resonates.

Of course most don’t live the sitcom life, have happy divorces, Norman Rockwell existences or glamorous careers, most do have the bumps, bruises and baggage of real life. Mother’s Day shows that even what we’ve ,magnified, or allowed to become the big bad hidden monster, has a funny way of working itself out even against all odds, when the unexpected becomes the catalyst.

Mother’s Day opens April 29, 2016. See this film, you’ll be glad you did.

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