Moms’ Night Out

All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and conversation… a long-needed moms’ night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a paper bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for three hours—what could go wrong?

My Thoughts: Where to begin with this one…

First, some autobiographical information to explain my train of thought. I was raised Southern Baptist, so I’m familiar with films targeted for Christian audiences. “The Message” comes first, everything else follows (or doesn’t). The problem with that method is that sometimes the other goals of the film fail to connect, but the film is supported within the community because of “The Message.” Having grown up and largely rejected the way I was brought up, I have an aversion to faith-based films of this sort. Because of that, I generally try to avoid them, because they aren’t fun for me, and I know that my thoughts are going to skew a certain way.

So why am I reviewing Moms’ Night Out? One reason: I wasn’t aware until I started watching the film.

I’ll admit, when I prepare to watch a film screener, I try to know something about the film before I watch it, even if it’s a general one-to-three line synopsis. I did that for this film, and nowhere did I see a reference to anything that tipped me off. It wasn’t until I started the film, and the TriStar logo was quickly followed by several studios with names that sounded like Christian film studios, that my suspicions were raised.

Sure enough, it’s a film that fits the model I described up top. It’s a faith-based, “family-friendly” film with a message that is technically a comedy, but only in the loosest sense. It’s not actually funny. It’s “clean”-funny, and while there’s nothing wrong with that necessarily, this is the weak version of it. It’s tame to the point of causing a cure for insomnia. It’s also rather sexist in its emphasis on gender roles. In this film’s view, women should be content being good mothers, and men aren’t to be trusted for even a few hours to take care of children. As for “The Message”? It seems crudely taped onto the script in some parts. It’s not there until it is, and a few minutes of heavy sermonizing will take place before we’re back to the “laughs” the film thinks it has. It’s weak even in its main goal.

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