So I finally went to see Moms' Night Out last night! I'd heard about the movie from social media and friends who'd raved about this family-friendly offering.
My friend, Judy, and I went together to see it, and this is one of the funniest parts of the whole night: we were the lone viewers in the entire theater (on a Sunday night here in Hawaii), save the group of men a few rows back of us.
Yep. That was awkward.
We were both wondering why they were there and if they were expecting something entirely different, but they laughed at the appropriate times and overall behaved themselves. (Though I still find myself wondering what the story was there...)
At any rate--the movie!
You've probably heard that Moms Night Out has been panned by some critics, but is well-loved by the demographic it was made for--i.e. THE MOMS. The moms love it! The website Rotten Tomatoes called it 'sexist' and gave it a 4 out of 10, while 86% of the audience liked it. So there's that. In a culture that seems to celebrate everything BUT stay-at-home moms, I found it a breath of fresh air to watch a movie that actually acted as if this is a viable option. Apparently, lots of other moms agree. While the pacing stumbled here and there and the humor bordered on cheesy at times, there's still a lot to love about Moms' Night Out.
What I liked:
- No questionable content--you can watch this with the whole family!
- There's a deeper meaning here that moms, whether stay-at-home or 'working' moms, need to hear: What you do is important. Raising kids is important. It matters!
- The friendships between older and younger women. This rings true to real life for me.
- The loving relationships between the husbands and wives.
- How all kinds of mothers were affirmed, and the common thread that none of us feels she's truly doing it justice.
- How badly Sondra, the pastor's wife portrayed by Patricia Heaton, texted. SO. ME. (Plus Heaton is one of my favorite actresses!)
- My favorite scenes were with the amazing Trace Adkins. SO glad he was in this!
- So many laughable situations. One of my favorites: When the pastor's wife attempts to move an armful of beer bottles off a table so that none of the other parishioners will see them and gets caught on the "Dance Cam" screen. Too funny!
What I didn't like:
- I had a hard time feeling sympathy for the main character initially, and it took me a bit to warm up to the storyline as I was worried the whole movie was going to be a big whine-fest about being a stay-at-home-mom. (Part of this is probably due to my military spouse-ness and having learned to deal with being alone a lot.) I initially wanted to yell, "Suck it up, Buttercup!" Then I remembered how exhausting it was to care for several little ones, with or without help!
- I wish Patricia Heaton hadn't tried to do a southern "accent." It is worth noting that this didn't bother my friend, who is from Australia. She said all Americans sound the same to her. :)
- Some of the male buffoonery. I don't think dads are quite that helpless and inept when left alone with their small children. Still, it made for some physical comedy and interesting situations!
Brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin of the movie October Baby directed Moms' Night Out. If you haven't seen it yet, I do recommend it! Better yet, grab a group of your friends to see it with you and set up your own Moms' Night Out! I think you'll love it!