Aside from Garry Marshall, apparently, was anyone actually clamoring for yet another of the director’s holiday-themed ensemble films? Following in the tradition of Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day centers around a holiday with a slew of romantic comedy veterans and other celebrities running in and out of loosely connected storylines. At least here, the storylines are a bit pared down.
Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is a divorced mom whose ex-husband (Timothy Olyphant) just got remarried to a much younger woman. Miranda (Julia Roberts) is a successful career woman without a family of her own. Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) is a recent widower raising two daughters. Flo (Kate Hudson) is estranged from her parents, who are unaware that Flo has married her Indian boyfriend and has a child with him.
It’s not hard to see where things will go from here, for the most part. What’s surprising about Mother’s Day is, in spite of cutting down on the number of main storylines at play, it still feels like something got muddled in shooting the film. Why else would there be a surprisingly high number of instances where ADR comes into play? Maybe it was all the shooting in Atlanta, which the film makes sure to mention with every scene. Or maybe it’s because very few of the actors seem to want to be here. In any case, while it has less emphasis on romance than its predecessors, Mother’s Day otherwise is similar to those other Garry Marshall films in coming across as a worn copy of better work, both from him and his actors. Rematching Pretty Woman is definitely the better option.