Still a bit cheesy, but a step in the right direction for “faith-based” films.
I’m not sure whether or not Mom’s Night Out will encourage more people to become mothers or avoid it altogether, but MNO is hellbent on making sure you know that being a mother is crazy.
When three mothers set up a “night out” away from the hectic stresses of their motherly duties, things soon turn awry when their plans change and a baby goes missing.
The best word I can think of to describe this film is “cute” — and that will mean something different to everyone. Those who like “cute” Hallmark-movie-of-the-week-type fare will gobble this thing up, while those who despise “cute” dialogue and stories wrapped up in nice little bows may feel otherwise.
Yes, there’s plenty of cheesy lines and corny moments. But honestly, there’s just as many entertaining scenes and funny moments in Mom’s Night Out. The film is at its best when it gives itself over completely to the all-out manic frenzy these mothers find themselves in, exploring the crazy antics these characters keep getting into.
The weakest part of Mom’s Night Out is, by far, the whole “mommy blog“–narration shtick, where Allyson continues to narrate moments throughout the film and talk about what she’s learned through them for her online blog about motherhood. This aspect adds nothing to the film — doing nothing but drag the pacing of the film and continue to pull viewers out of the story.
There’s no room in the theater for cynics when Mom’s Night Out comes on, cheese and all. But its heart is in the right place. And it’s nice to see a “faith-based” movie that doesn’t whack people over the head with a sermon every five minutes.
The film offers an extremely heartfelt and timely message about grace and love and the peace that comes in realizing the fruitlessness of trying to work towards and earn a certain status when God has already declared us “enough.”
But again, this is a message that will likely only resonate with those already within the flock. How many unbelievers such a message will touch, who knows.
+ A step in the right direction for “faith-based” films
+ A surprisingly talented cast assembled
+ Religious themes are subtle and not heavy-handed
+ Plenty of fun moments in the middle of the film
– Too many characters
– The movie looks cheaply-made
– Many of the characters come across stereotypical
– Some subplots feel forced and contrived
– An overall slight polish of corniness
Mom’s Night Out, even with all its cheesy moments and low production value, might bring a smile to your face. It’s full of forced story lines and character interactions, but it all seems to be coming from the right place. It’s a step up for “faith-based” films, relying not on a typical “come-to-Jesus moment” and heavy-handed sermonizing, but instead on (mostly) likable characters and humorous sequences to spread its message of grace and acceptance. Leave your cynicism at the door; it might just be a little bit of fun that the whole family can enjoy.
Mom’s Night Out is rated PG for “some action.” It’s pretty much safe for the whole family!
© Matt Tory, 2014.