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Mother's Day


Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, Britt Robertson, Timothy Olyphant, Hector Elizondo, Jack Whitehall, Jennifer Garner, Aasif Mandvi, Sarah Chalke, Cameron Esposito, Anoush NaVart, Jon Lovitz

Director: Garry Marshall

If at first you succeed, then try, try and try again might well be the motto of “legendary filmmaker“ (the quote has been lifted from the press notes) Garry Marshall’s follow-up to Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

Unfortunately, Marshall’s film goes down faster than an anchor hurled into the sea but sadly without as much use.

The best joke, surely, in the intertwined stories about a bunch of mothers whose problems are opportunely solved on Mother’s Day, is that the film was released nearer in proximity to Father’s Day rather than Mother’s.

Let’s face it, Marshall’s chance of raising the sodden script (Anya Kochoff Romano, Matt Walker, Tom Hines) from the depths and imbuing it with any kind of entertaining life was far less than Oliver Hardy’s chances had been of winning Slimmer of the Year.

What you get rather resembles the pilot for a television sitcom series – a pilot that is more likely to crash than take off.

Among those involved are Jennifer Aniston (as uncharacteristic as ever ) who seeks happiness after her husband divorces her, plus Kate Hudson (barely registering) hoping to persuade her racist parents to accept her Asian husband. As well, making family relationships worse, her sister is a married lesbian. And, just in time to make little impact, Jack Whitehall impersonates an aspirant English stand-up comedian seeking to persuade the mother of his child to marry him…

There’s more, all of it adding up to less, including Julia Roberts in a ludicrous red wig, and a smile that is a tribute to American dentistry, while Timothy Olyphant and Jennifer Garner are also on board the sinking ship without any screenplay or directorial lifebelts to save them.

The stars are not credited at the start of the film which is their good luck since my best guess is that by the time they are identified in the end credits many moviegoers will have already left or, luckier than I was, be fast asleep.

It’s a perfect film to recommend to someone who has really, really annoyed you.

(My single star rating is for sympathy, not achievement)

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour.
118 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 18 Jun 2016