Oh, hello, holiday movie. I guess the highly “popular” VALENTINES DAY and NEW YEARS EVE movies were such cinematic gold that Hollywood shit out, we needed to squeeze out another. *sigh* As you can probably guess, I wasn’t looking forward to this movie. Probably the one I wanted to see the least. It stars a mix of celebrities that are box office titans, like Jason Sudeikis, and box office pariahs, like Kate Hudson. But that’s always been the case with these movies. The story looked like there were going to be forced elements and the trailer gave away a pretty big reveal, that is, if I’m reading the context of these characters correctly. I don’t know, this didn’t have anything going for it, so…yeah, that’s all I have to say. Low expectations. This is my honest opinion of MOTHER’S DAY.
The story follows multiple people who are gearing for the day of appreciating their mothers as well as their various reasons why the day is turning into a disaster.
In case you didn’t pick up on it, my summary is insanely short. This is because I’m not going to talk about the individual stories. It’d take too long.
In any case, it’s a bad movie. Granted, due to the strong films that I’ve seen this week, much of this film has been forced into my repressed memory concentration camp for gassing, but I do still remember a few of the more god-awful moments in the story.
Before I get into those bad storylines, as I will be raging like a gamer playing a cheatless game of CONTRA, I will start with the very few good things about the movie. There are a couple storylines that are interesting enough to have a focus on. Such as Kristin, played by Brit Robertson. Her character is a young mom, still dating the father of her child, who is a rising stand-up comedian, and is a good guy who wants to marry her. Problem is, she can’t bring herself to say yes to him because… “she doesn’t know who she is.” Pushing aside how much of a cop-out this excuse is, her reasoning is because she was put up for adoption and never met her biological mother and has the same unanswered questions most adopted kids do. To emotionally assault your nads even further, her adopted parents died some years ago. Her mother is famed infomercial saleswoman Miranda, played by Julia Roberts, who just happens to be in town. Call me a sucker for adoption stories, or maybe I’m still standing by my TOMORROWLAND review when I said Robertson was a good actress, or both, but there’s something about Kristin that made me legitimately feel for her and want her to find the closure that she’s always wanted. Even her boyfriend Zack, played by Jack Whitehall, is an interesting character and probably belts the only funny stuff in the movie. Again, you want Kristin to be in good place in life so they’ll get together. Not that there’s any doubt that they wouldn’t, but it’s still well-handled for the most part.
I needed to ramble about the only good thing about this movie. Alright, Jennifer Aniston had some funny reactions to situations, but yeah, that’s about it.
Now it’s time to talk about the cardinal sin of the movie: the humor. Now I have to admit that half (or more than half) of my hatred for this movie mostly comes from the audience I was seeing this movie with was laughing at all the wrong kinds of humor. There’s a scene involving Jesse, played by Kate Hudson, and her parents visiting. We’re told that they’re basically racist, and Jesse, married a middle eastern man. Upon meeting Russell, played by Aasif Mandvi, they immediately call him a “towel head” which is incredibly offensive. The moment that line was belted out, the audience roared with laughter. Why? “Towel head” is a derogatory term and in the context of the scene, used in an offensive way. What’s the punchline? Is it because that “towel head” is a funny phrase? Would it be acceptable if someone called a woman a “cunt” if they thought the word was funny? Would it be acceptable if someone called a Hispanic a “wet back” if they thought the phrase was funny? No! No it would not! So why does this movie get a pass? Why does the audience think this is funny? Look, I know racist humor isn’t new. But comedy can go too far. The best comedy is one that addresses a problem and makes fun of it. Comedian Morgan Murphy on her “Irish Goodbye” stand-up (you can find it on Netflix. Very funny woman, highly recommended) talks about a commercial she saw for credit card fraud. It’s a montage of victims talking about their experiences. One of them is a middle-aged black guy, “perfectly pleasant” and all that. His experience was that two surf boards were purchased in Laguna Beach. Murphy goes on to say that this man’s credit card company is basically saying, and I’m quoting Murphy here, “hey, we know black people don’t buy surf boards,” and how insane this idea is. See what I mean? How does mean-spirited racism equal comedy? Jesse’s parents are just cruel for no reason.
To make matters worse, they have a child together and somehow someway the child inspires the mother to have a change of heart and love her family the way it is. How did that happen? The miracle of children changing perspective? I’m pretty fucking sure that if a black person, a Jew, and a homosexual walked into a den full of Ku Klux Klan, and those three people flashed their baby pictures at the Klan or brought their young children with them, those parents and children are going to get fucking slaughtered. Racists at an advanced age like that will not change their minds about how they feel about a minority. Racists see everyone as beneath them, no matter what age. I refuse to believe that a child, grandchild or otherwise, would change that woman’s mind for no reason. Cuteness is not a factor in that.
To make matters even worse, the father changes his mind too! There’s a bullshit amount of explanation for the mom changing her mind, but when the fuck did the dad? Literally, he changes his mind because the script demands a happy ending to a storyline like this.
To make matters EVEN WORSE, ever since Jesse got married to Russell, she never told her parents. Instead, she lied and made up a story that she married a white guy… that her parents never met, yet accept that she’s married to. Never told them about their grandchild either. Okay, so you might think, “Well that’s not so bad. Her parents are racist after all. It’s for the good of her family.” Fine, sure, but she also lied to Russell about having racist parents. She told him that they were crazy and locked in a nuthouse, or some bullshit like that. Why?? If you’re a child of a racist family, but you yourself aren’t, what possible motivation do you have to lie about your family? There’s no reason for it in this movie. Jesse is just a pathological liar, and Russell, rather intellectually, calls her a fucking twat and basically storms off pissed at her. But somehow, after both the parents have a change in heart, they manage to get Russell into Jesse’s parents’ RV and drive fast out of the neighborhood… so he’ll forgive her. Five minutes of “funny” high jinks, somehow this fucking works. Jesus Christ, dude, your wife only lied to you throughout your marriage and even after having your kid! When is it ever enough? What does she have to do get the fucking message? Again, copping out for a happy ending because that’s the easiest way out.
Maybe that’s the biggest offense of this movie: it’s not challenging. It would have been so much better if Jesse would just cut off her mother from her life, whom wouldn’t accept a family like this. Sure, it’s a buckshot to the emotions, but it’s for the betterment of your family and yourself. A hard reality, but that would have made this storyline so much better and realistic. But holiday movies need happy endings, right? “So fuck off with conflict and ambiguity, let’s make with the whimsical smiles and cheery music.” Fuck that shit.
While this movie is definitely bad, there are one or two serviceable elements the prevent it from being a complete and total disaster. If you’re a fan of these lame movie tropes, or if you’re my aunts, I wager you’ll like this movie fine. But as for the rest of us who don’t want to be subject to such middle-aged suburban brain-dead pandering, then I wouldn’t bother. Only saw it once, but I’m fine with that. Never again.
My honest rating: 2/5
That’s all the reviews for this week guys. Keep an eye out for next week’s batch, including:
- CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
- and more