5/09/2014

Review: 'Moms' Night Out', Starring Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, and Trace Adkins


Everyone out there can sympathize with mothers. Either you are one, know one, or have heard stories from your own mother about how difficult motherhood can be. Moms' Night Out is a film for every mother out there who's ever been stressed, worn out, or unhappy, even when you don't feel like you should be. The movie is filled with everything that could possibly go wrong and a lot of it is played for laughs, with an underlying message that is sure to reach its audience. So, you can really say that this film is ideal for a real-life version of a moms' night out. 

Allyson (Sarah Drew) is a stay-at-home mom whose dream has always been to have kids and raise a family. She has three children, tries to blog but never knows where to start, and
her husband Sean (Sean Astin) is a great husband and dad, but is sometimes away on business trips. So although she's essentially living out her dream, Allyson can't help but feel overwhelmed and unhappy about herself and her life. 

So in order to get away for a little while and take a break from the realities of raising three young children, Allyson is encouraged to have a girl's night with her friends Sondra (Patricia Heaton) and Izzy (Andrea Logan White) and leave their husbands in charge of the kids for once. Of course, chaos ensues during what's supposed to be a quiet and relaxing night. Her sister-in-law (Abbie Cobb) is in search of her baby after her ex (Harry Shum) puts him the care of another. They lose their dinner reservations, lose their car, and somewhere along the line a tattoo artist named Bones (Trace Adkins), the cops, and a cab driver (David Hunt) are involved. 

There's something about this film that's endearing. Whether it's the cast, the setup, or the clich├ęd everything-can-go-wrong plot, Moms' Night Out is one of those films you can't really hate on because it does try very hard to be likable. The real underlying message about knowing that you are enough and being alright with being who you are as a non-perfect parent resonate and apply to all moms (and dads) who have ever felt the way Allyson has feels. There is also a message that's based in religion and talk about god that is in there and doesn't quite fit the style of the film. It kind of feels like it's thrown in there and sneaks up on you without realization, which ends up making the sentimental moment at the end less emotionally riveting than it might have been otherwise. 

The film, however, mostly runs on its ability to poke fun at what parents go through while at the same time making the lead character's emotions very relatable. So there's lighthearted humor and a good message that's sure to hit a nerve or two with audience members who are able to echo its sentiments. The film is a bit rowdy in regards to all the things to go wrong (and everything seems to), but it doesn't ever go overboard or hits us over the head with its message. 

Moms' Night Out is a movie parents (not just moms) can relate to. It shows the good and bad of parenting. It addresses that just because you seem like you're living the ideal dream of being married and having kids, doesn't mean you're happy all the time. Sarah Drew as Allyson is able to give us an overwhelmed and on-edge mom while still showing us the more self-conscious, I'm-not-good-enough part of motherhood. Sean Astin and company provide a fun supporting cast in a film that doesn't take itself too seriously, as one shouldn't in parenthood.