“Mother’s Day” (Open Road)
By Catholic News Service
Set in Atlanta, this sprawling ensemble comedy takes on, among other themes, divorce (Jennifer Aniston and Timothy Olyphant), marital secrets (Kate Hudson and Aasif Mandvi), parental prejudice (Margo Martindale and Robert Pine) and life after loss (Jason Sudeikis).
Considerable focus and aplomb would be required to keep an audience engaged with such complex proceedings. Instead Garry Marshall’s uneven direction, added to a discursive script, results in a leaky slop bucket of bromides. The film’s aesthetic flaws are matched by a faulty moral outlook that, while presenting an ultimately positive view of marriage, gives both cohabitation (Jack Whitehall and Britt Robertson) and a lesbian relationship (Sarah Chalke and Cameron Esposito) an unthinking pass. Tacit acceptance of immoral lifestyles, some distasteful humor, at least one rough term, occasional crude language.
The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.