Review: ‘Mother’s Day’ Is Bloated Predictable Garbage

At this point, Garry Marshall has become a parody of himself.


His latest bloated attempt at pulling on our heart strings, Mother’s Day, is a film that shouldn’t have been allowed within a five-mile radius of any theater in the United States. As predictable as Garry Marshall movies are (who could forget Valentine’s Day in 2010 and New Year’s Eve in 2011?), nothing could prepare me for the tepid, ridiculously predictable, outdated garbage that is Mother’s Day.


One positive that can’t be dismissed is the quality of the cast. Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Timothy Olyphant, Kate Hudson, Sarah Chalke, Aasif Mandvi, and some “Garry Marshall regulars” indeed present the appearance of a strong cast. However, not even the strongest of casts could have done anything with these vaguely constructed characters.

Now for those who are wondering about the plot of this film, if you’ve seen the trailer then you know the film’s entire plot (I wish I were Joking). Jennifer Aniston is Sandy, a divorced mom of two boys who’s holding it together but secretly wants to get back with her devilishly handsome ex-husband, Henry (Timothy Olyphant). Apparently Henry didn’t get the memo because he announces to Sandy that he recently eloped with his twenty-year-old girlfriend Tina (gee, I wonder if that will cause some faux friction). Of course, it wouldn’t be a Gary Marshall film if the plot were not intertwined and such is the case with this movie as well.

Sandy decides to call her best friend Jesse (Kate Hudson) to fill her on what’s occurred. What Sandy doesn’t know is that Jesse has the drama of her own. Jesse is married to an Indian doctor named Russell ( Aasif Mandvi), and they have a toddler son. She has, however, choose not to let her parents know about all of this because her parents Earl and Flo (Robert Pine and Margo Martindale) are both racists (I know, earth shattering news). Jesse, of course, hasn’t been honest about what’s been going on, as she’s told her husband that her parents are not in the picture and are mentally unstable.

Her sister (played by Sarah Chalke) is trying to reunite Jesse with her mother after a falling out over dating Indian men, but we come to find that her sister has a secret, she’s a lesbian (married with an adoptive son). Her rationale for not telling her parents is that they are equally as homophobic as they are racist (WOW! Didn’t see this coming).
So what we have so far are just a stew of lies and predictable, mundane storylines. Some may argue that the film is not predictable because it has no storyline involving a recently passed mother.

Enter Jason Sudeikis.

Jason Sudeikis plays a widower and father of two daughters who are still clinging to the memory of his wife who died a military hero. Of course, Sudeikis plays that active dad trying to adjust to this new role but secretly stays up watching videotapes of his recently deceased wife.

Some might be holding out hope that Mr. Marshall at least avoided doing his stereotypical mother full of regret storyline.

Enter Julia Roberts.

Julia Roberts plays Miranda, a career-driven woman who of course like everyone in this movie has a past. Britt Robertson is Kristin (AKA Miranda’s Past/Miranda’s daughter) who now herself has a daughter and is trying to decide if she is ready to marry the father of her child (Gee I wonder if somehow if Kristin and Miranda will reconnect).
This film certainly has all the trademark elements of previous Garry Marshall movies, mainly because he directly ripped from all of them. However, what caught my eye is how he handled the costuming in this movie. According to People Magazine, the wig that Julia Roberts uses in the film Mother’s Day is the same wig that she used in the film Notting Hill. Is Garry Marshall now recycling costume elements as well? Is nothing original in this film? This tripe is so full of “mail it in” performance that this film has all the qualities of a direct to DVD release ( which is what should have occurred to begin with).

If you love your mother, do her a favor and don’t subject her to Mother’s Day.

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.