starring Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts, Jason Sudeikis, Britt Robertson, Timothy Olyphant, Margo Martindale, Shay Mitchell, Jack White, Hector Elizondo, and Jon Lovitz
screenplay by Anya Kochoff Romano, Matt Walker and Tom Hines
directed by Garry Marshall
Mother’s Day is a multi-layered romance that reminded me of Richard Curtis’ Love Actually (2003) in that it follows about five different story lines, each one of which could be a movie unto itself, and only at the end of the film do we see how the different story threads intersect. For that reason I didn’t like it. It feels like a waste, a misuse of talent, time and money to flood the screen with great actors each used below their potential. The film is similar in format to Marshall's previous two ensemble romantic comedies with holiday themes: Valentine’s Day (2010) and New Year’s Eve (2011) and was the final film of his career prior to his death in July 2016.
As Mother's Day draws close, a group of seemingly unconnected people in Atlanta come to terms with the relationships they have with their mothers. Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is a divorced mother of two boys whose ex-husband has recently remarried a younger woman. Miranda (Julia Roberts) is an accomplished writer who gave up her only child for adoption at birth.. Meanwhile, Jesse and Gabi, who never see their mother, are surprised by their parents when they come to visit and must come to terms with their failing relationship.
Julia Roberts sports one hell of an ugly hairdo. As usual, I enjoyed Hector Elizondo’s character. He is a character actor who regularly brings interesting characters to life on the screen. He’s always fun to see.
The film takes it for granted that Mother’s Day is a big deal, like a holiday or something. It wasn’t a big deal when I was growing up. Is it a big deal in North America now? Is it a holiday? When did it become a big deal? I know that many people wrong call festivals “holidays.” For example, I’ve heard some people describe Halloween as their favorite “holiday.” They don’t know the definition of a holiday, I guess. Halloween is not a holiday. Nor is Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Groundhog’s Day, and April Fools Day among others. When I was growing up in Canada Remembrance Day (November 11th) was not a holiday. It is today across Canada except in Quebec and Manitoba. Oh, well.
“We are who the world thinks we are, and sometimes we’re not. We decide who we are, when we want, and who we want to know.”