mother’s day: the movie

“Wait, when is Mother’s Day?” Phil says in a forced-casual panic.
“May eighth,” Lucas says.
“Lucas, you’re gonna have to remind me,” Phil says.
“I didn’t even know,” Lucas says. “Abigail told me.”
“I already made a card and everything,” Abigail says. “How am I the only one on top of this, people?”
That’s my girl.

I was invited with a plus-one to the screening of Mother’s Day tonight. And while it’s rated PG-13, I wonder how wrong it would be to bring my 9-year-old daughter with me. I watch PG-13 movies with her all the time. She knows what infidelity is, adoption, even abortion, and she’s seen Disney movies, so she expects death. Still, it would be nice to enjoy some time with a friend I don’t often see, which is why I’m meeting up with Smelly, my college roommate.

I’m just gonna say it. Julia Roberts looks like a condom. That mushroom cap haircut could be considered indecent exposure. I’m probably the only one—and I really hope I’m wrong—but the trailer for this movie, if those are the best moments, doesn’t look promising. The opening laugh is about a dad who lets his son go to school without underwear. It’s not inherently funny. So big deal if you go to school without underwear. No one knows the difference. It’s not even visually funny. Go on, play along.

LINE TO BEAT: He also lets you go to school without any underwear.
“He also lets you go to school… ”
He also lets you go to school without any underwear… in elf pajamas. “It’s called Jingle-Ballin’, mom.”

This second trailer offers up a sparkling backdrop, soft sentimental music. It says, “You will feel. You will connect. You will think about your own relationships.” And that’s what I want from a movie. The first trailer felt forced, as if it was trying to sell you on the funny. Peeing on the bag, not so funny. Peeing into a dog’s water bowl, funnier. Especially when the dog drinks it. A gross out factor, or a pain factor—these are things that make us laugh, out of discomfort. Woman telling boy to watch out, as she’s yanked out of a chair? Would’ve been funnier if the boy’s own mother ran to him and clutched him, pulling him to her bosom, fiercely protecting her baby from the big lady.

I’ll report more after I see the film…

As expected, Smelly and I left the theater with a lot to say, none of it good.
“Damn, that movie’s gonna get slaughtered.” It’s bad.

In a romantic comedy, you know the pair will end up together from the meet cute, but we watch despite knowing the outcome because we want to be taken on a journey. We want to be surprised by the how. There are no surprises in Mother’s Day, except for how shockingly bad it is. One particular low is when suddenly, oh no, the brakes on the RV stop working, and there’s a papier-mâché womb parade float attached. It’s so bad. In its attempt to appeal to everyone–the motherless, the adopted, the childless, the divorced, and to those who have a bad relationship with their mother–it remarkably appeals to no one. The movie reveals no truths of motherhood, no work-life balance, no hard decisions, no wisdom on how to parent. There’s no depth, no character development.

One example. Jennifer Aniston’s character Sandy is freshly divorced, and as the opening credits still mark the screen, she tells her exercise-focused friend, Kate Hudson, that her ex wants to have an important talk with her, no doubt because he wants to get back together. Go on, groan. Only to discover—duh, duh, dumb—that he’s remarried a young, scantily clad, hot dish. When Sandy complains to her ex about the “tween’s” attire, he provokes, “What, should she dress dowdy like you?” Only Sandy doesn’t look dowdy; she looks like Jennifer Aniston, wearing flowing Calypso-style dresses worthy of the Hamptons. And his new wife doesn’t look coquettish. But let’s play along. Had this been the case, by the end of the film, after spending time as a new stepmother, the young hot dish would look disheveled and real, beaten up by a hellish day, hair a mess, no time for make-up or heels. And in Hollywood cliche, she’d have barf on her clothes or flour on her face. And our hero Sandy would’ve evolved into a confident, hot sexy, empowered divorcee who’s worthy of a wind machine and a slow-motion power-gait. Even such a shallow initial “problem” would show an arc, a definitive reversal and evolution from the start. But no such transcendence occurs.

If you hate your mother, send her tickets to see Mother’s Day, the movie, where, regretfully, an explanation is never given for the hideous condom wig hair. If you love your mama, save your money for flowers. That’s what I will say. ProFlowers is the official floral partner for MOTHER’S DAY, and they were kind enough to send me a truly beautiful and fun bouquet. I love the vase and their original vase offerings, so much more original than the clear glass bodega vase.

mothers-day pro-flowers-mothers-day

The pink flowers and the turquoise vase make such a lovely contrast! I’d never have paired them together, but seeing them in person, it totally works. I also enjoy the ombre pink mason jar below.

ProFlowers Mother's Day Bouquet Mason JarMother's Day Bouquet

Mother's Day Movie


  1. I think Love Actually was brillant.

    But all the ensemble cast movies that followed have not really been my cup of tea. It might be that I don’t really care for Julia Roberts (I know, I know) but it just seemed like it was going to fall flat, even in the previews. I am willing to be swayed by your review, though.

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