Quite a line-up of star names propel this homage to mothers everywhere but the story and treatment unfortunately fails to rise to the occasion. Garry Marshall has built an entire franchise of formulaic romantic comedies and this one is no different. He gets together the hottest stars and casts them in roles that show them as humans longing for love and redemption. And it’s all conveniently tied in to a sentiment-tugging day. In ‘Mother’s Day’, the lives of five families and seven mothers are woven together to regurgitate the successful formula.
This latest ensemble comedy from Garry Marshall (‘Valentine’s Day’, ‘New Year’s Eve’) introduces us to the women and their struggles with parenting and relationships. Largely the latter though.
To begin with, we see a couple of friends engaged in building an elaborate Mother’s Day parade float. It takes a symbolic shape – that of a womb – and you are expected to laugh. But it’s not funny at all. In the next few minutes we are privy to inter-personal quirks of this relationship challenged lot. The float has been made by a lesbian couple (Sarah Chalke and Cameron Esposito). One from the couple has a sister Jesse (Kate Hudson) who has an Indian husband Russell (Aasif Mandvi) and a son by him. The reasoning behind this sort of coupling comes through when they get confronted by a surprise visit from their estranged, conservative parents (Margo Martindale and Robert Pine). Outside this set-piece racially discriminatory dramatics plays out a relationship between a divorcee Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) with two sons and her ex-husband (Timothy Olyphant) who finds himself a hot new co-ed for a wife Tina (Shay Mitchell). The ex-wife is not amused and does her best to put a spoke in their wheel. Lucky for her she doesn’t have to feel all at sea for long because she bumps into a lonely widower (Jason Sudeikis) with two daughters just in the nick of time. So they all are basically preprogrammed to end the carping and one-upmanship in order to spread the cheer for a happy-all mother’s day sentiment laden end play.
There’s not much script to propel this wannabe comedic drama. Even so, it’s all quite neatly laid out and tied in to produce a feel-good effect. This movie is meant to be about mothers but most of the narrative revolves around representations of women as wives, ex-wives, lovers, daughters and just peripherally deals with them as mothers. As such, this tribute turns out to be just a little too shallow!