Review: 'Fun Mom Dinner' Starring Toni Collette, Katie Aselton, & Molly Shannon

*NOTE: This is a reprint of my review from the Sundance Film Festival.* 

Even with Bad Moms proving to be a box office scorcher last year the landscape for movies geared towards working moms is painfully thin. That said, any old thing shouldn't do. Fun Mom Dinner is the equivalent of mom using bargain basement ingredients to make your favorite homecooked meal. Little about it is fresh, funny, or tasteful, despite an immensely talented cast of actresses led by Toni Collette and Bridget Everett.

Everett's role is particularly interesting because she makes the most out of what is basically a rehash of Kathryn Hahn's in Bad Moms. She's the wild card, and of course she's physically the largest of the quartet, so the part is riddled with cliche right from the start. But Everett, who will be recognizable for her work alongside Amy Schumer (she was especially memorable in Trainwreck, and has a great role in Patti Cake$), brings a sorely-needed dose of humanity to her role as Melanie, the most aggressive member of this mommy foursome.

Penned by Julie Rudd (Her husband Paul makes an unnecessary cameo) and directed by Alethea Jones, the movie is exactly what you think it is. Katie Aselton is Emily,  a mother who is struggling to cope with leaving her career to be a stay-at-home mom to a bunch of nasty kids (There's a gross poop scene early), and wife to a husband (Adam Scott) who barely notices her. Her longtime best friend Kate (Collette) isn't happy either, but she seems more frustrated by the whole "supermom" culture in their neighborhood. She doesn't get along with the other moms at all, especially Melanie, an in-your-face school traffic guard, and Jamie (Molly Shannon), a divorcee who can't go five minutes without posting sexy photos of herself on Instagram.

The never finds its comedic footing, and seems unsure whether it wants to be brazen or PG-rated. There's plenty of sex talk among the ladies, and if there's ever a time when the film comes close to working it's in the early going as they meet over drinks. It's then that we see the bond form between former adversaries, Melanie and Kate, finding common ground with their no-bullshit attitudes. From there the film becomes a random series of contrived plot devices, beginning with the arrival of Paul Rudd as a weed distributor, and Adam Levine as a bartender who tempts Emily to stray. By the time the ladies meet up with a bunch of partying teens on a boat it's hard to tell what Fun Mom Dinner was ever supposed to be. Not even the occasional diversions back to the babysitting Dads (Scott and Rob Huebel) amount to much. The men are hopeless without the moms around, we get it.

You can probably find a more enjoyable dinner date than hanging out with these supposedly fun moms.

Rating: 2 out of 5