Mother’s Day is a tossed salad of plots. Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and Jason Sudeikis are billed as the headline stars. It’s a bit misleading. This is an ensemble cast with a dozen or more known actors in small and large parts.
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All main and subplots are connected. Some in a major way and others thinly. Among them are a divorced couple dealing with his remarriage, two sisters not meeting mom and dad’s old-time marriage standards, a widower can’t get over his wife’s death, a comedian wants the mother of his child to marry him, and Julia Roberts plays one of the Home Shopping Network’s most popular hosts.
Mother’s Day is written by three first-time writers and by Anya Kochoff, who wrote the awful Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez flick Monster-in-Law. Billed as a comedy, in two hours, the four writers manage to do one bit that is price-of-admission funny.
Worse. None of the stories are that original or that interesting.
That brings us to 82-year-old director Garry Marshall. His producers are promoting Mother’s Day as another treasure from the director of Pretty Woman. This isn’t even close. All it does is show that it has been a long fall from that highly acclaimed film’s perch and his career-solidifying and critically-acclaimed Happy Days in 1974.
Mother’s Day has more in common with TV producer Aaron Spelling’s Love American Style. Marshall wrote 19 episodes for the series and modeled his last two films, New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, after them.
Modeling a movie after Love American Style boggles the mind. It was awful TV and — unfortunately for Marshall and his excellent cast — the genre makes awful movies.
Director: Garry Marshall
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Britt Robinson, Jack Whitehall, Shay Mitchell, Timothy Olyphant, Hector Elizondo, Margo Martindale, Jennifer Garner, Jon Lovitz, Aasif Mandvi
Mr. Movie rating: 2 stars
Rated R for mature themes, brief nudity, language. It’s playing at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.