“Mother’s Day” is the latest holiday-themed story compilation movies (“Valentine’s Day,” “New Year’s Day”) from director Garry Marshall. The star-studded movie focuses on the lives of four different mothers and each of their individual stories which are loosely held together with the help of Miranda (Julia Roberts) who is a home shopping channel host for HSN. In this film, everybody knows who she is and are constantly watching her show.
Jennifer Aniston plays Sandy, the divorced mom who is reeling when she learns that her ex-husband (Timothy Olyphant) has taken a new bride (Shay Mitchell) who is much younger than she is.
Jennifer Garner plays the mother who isn’t there as she died while serving her country in the military. She is only shown in a brief flashback. Her widower husband Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), who also served in the military, is still mourning her death even a year later.
Margo Martindale plays Flo, the estranged mother of Jesse (Kate Hudson) and Gabi (Sarah Chalke). Both daughters have married without telling their parents. Jesse is married to Russell (Asif Mandvi), an East Indian man and Gabi is married to Max (Cameron Esposito) who is a woman.
Then there is Kristin (Britt Robertson) who despite living with her boyfriend Zack (Jack Whitehall) for over four years and having a child together, has cold feet when it comes to marriage. She is still struggling with that fact that she doesn’t know who her birth mother is.
Though the film has a great cast and some nice ideas, overall, the movie is quite dull and contrived with tired jokes. Marshall is capable of so much more. In some cases, the filmmakers decided that the audiences will be too dumb to understand the jokes as is and proceeds to spoon-feed the punchlines.
Some situations in the film don’t even make sense. For instance, Bradley has a number of female friends asking what he and his daughters are doing for Mother’s Day. This seems really odd since his wife is dead.
There really is only one reason to see “Mother’s Day” and that is to see Jennifer Aniston whose comedic performance is so natural and believable, that she elevates every scene that she’s in. Roberts is especially good as well even under that awful short-and-sassy wig.
Overall though, “Mother’s Day” isn’t as clever as it thinks it is and isn’t as funny as it should be. The cast is giving it their all with a script that doesn’t support them. The sad thing about “Mother’s Day” is that you can see that it could have been a lot better film. Still, it is pretty fun watching Aniston fight with her car’s seat belt.