When it comes to light and breezy at the movies, no one does a loveable ensemble cast quite like Garry Marshall. After the the debut of the fluffy “Valentine’s Day” followed by an unnecessary “New Year’s Eve” it wasn’t that much of a stretch to see “Mother’s Day” on the big screen. Ok, it was, but there’s a built-in audience ready to see it despite the apprehension.
Jennifer Aniston is divorced mom, Sandy who is a friendly relationship with her ex (Timothy Olyphant) but taken aback by his recent elopement to 20-something Tina (Shay Mitchell) who prefers tweets as a method of communication.
Sandy is friends with Jesse (Kate Hudson) who hasn’t spoken to her mom in years, but engages in a spontaneous reunion. Then, there’s Bradley (Jason Sudeikis), a recent widower who is dealing with raising two girls as a single dad while grieving the loss of his wife.
And yet, in another storyline is childless, career woman Miranda (Julia Roberts) who is (not a) surprise does have a daughter, Kristin (Britt Robertson) who finally tracks her down. There are more moments and characters added to the mix, but their presence is more like a hodge podge of extras that help fill the nearly two hours this movie runs.
Going into movies like this, there’s a standard formula which can be entertaining, but is always forgettable. A story of individuals all intertwined in some kind of way that can be montaged and wrapped at the end set to a “poppy” song. The biggest entertainment value though seems to be so many big names sharing the same screen. Typically, this is enough.
In the case of “Mother’s Day” it’s not.
Beautiful stars light up the screen, but seeing Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston in yoga pants for most of the movie, it seemed more of a promo for a joint collection for Fabletics rather than regular wear for mamas who workout.
The storylines are forced and devoid of emotion. You can feel the audience’s desperation to want to laugh because when there were chuckles to be heard, there was a hint of surprise associated with them. As someone who is in the prime demographic of a movie like this, it feels disappointing to not stand behind a Garry Marshall film for what it’s supposed to be: lighthearted fun.