Moms' Night OutOverview -
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 bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for a few hours-what could go wrong? Moms' Night Out is an endearing, true-to-life family comedy.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
Directors Jon and Andrew Erwin made waves in 2011 with their Christian film 'October Baby', which was about abortion. But in an almost a 180 degree turn, they take to the comedy genre in the vein of 'Adventures in Babysitting' with 'Moms' Night Out'. Still utilizing undertones and messages from the Christian faith, the directing duo put a lot of that on the back burner and focus more on the hijinks and action that happens when a few young mothers want a night out with the girls.
It's a decent enough premise, maybe one that we have even seen before, but instead of keeping things simple and on point, the directors go for the absurd and ridiculous, which kind of takes us out of the story's charm. And even though it pays respect to the hardworking house-moms of the world, it never really connects to reality. The film centers on a young beautiful mother of three named Allyson (Sarah Drew), a stay-at-home mom who keeps herself busy by taking care of her three kids and hardworking husband (Sean Astin).
It seems like her only personal time is to keep up her personal blog, which acts more as a rant about her life rather than something fun. On the verge of a complete meltdown, she decides to user her Groupon for a night on the town and invites her two best friends Izzy (Andrea Logan White) and Sondra (Patricia Heaton). While the girls are enjoying their night out at a fancy restaurant, the dads get to stay home with the kids and eat junk food and play games. Seems like a fun night for everyone, right? Wrong.
After their dinner reservations hit a snag and a few other kinks in their perfect night out take place, things go from bad to horrible as the girls and men and the kids are out on the town looking for a missing toddler. There are car chases, tattoo parlors, and jail in the cards for these moms, and it ain't pretty. But that's where the comedy comes in. I don't think you'll be busting a gut laughing, but the some of the action scenes and improv dialogue might make you smirk, but mostly just shake your head.
Sarah Drew really gives it her all here. We connect with her and all of her idiosyncrasies. She plays the stress very realistically and her wit really shines. The rest of the cast turn in solid performances as well. But what takes this movie down another notch is its inane capers that are totally unbelievable. Sure, it makes for a decent action-comedy, but the ludicrous antics are so far-fetched that the overall tone and message of the film are lost, along with the characters. Then it just becomes, "what can we throw these characters into next". And if that wasn't enough, at the end of the film, we are hit over the head with the religious message about life and love and what God has planned for us. It just seems like it was phoned in and the film got lazy.
'Moms' Night Out' might appeal to some, and it has some decent tricks up its sleeves, but its inability to tell a cohesive and charming story ultimately stop this comedy from being in the spotlight.
'Moms' Night Out' comes with an impressive 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. This image from Sony looks quite fantastic as most of their comedy Blu-rays do. The film looks very organic and strong throughout with vivid and sharp detail that reveal fine closeups of the actor's faces. Wrinkles, makeup blemishes, individual hairs, and stitching in the costumes all show up nicely. Background props and sets also look sharp and provide some great depth throughout.
The colors are always bright and vibrant and go across the entire color spectrum. Each color seems to pop off screen. During the darker lit scenes, detail and colors still come across strong and bold. There is no murkiness to the image. Black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are always natural. This picture doesn't have a big filmic quality to it, but it's high-def transfer is pristine. There was some minor banding during the very bright scenes, but only for a moment. Other than that, this release is issue free.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and sounds very good. Being mostly a dialogue driven comedy, the sound is fairly robust. During the scenes in the bar, restaurant, and arcade, the rear speakers pour out the ambient noises associated with each location and provide some great and realistic sound effects. The bigger so called action scenes offer some decent loud noises as well, never being to over-the-top or screechy. The dialogue is always perfectly balanced and is crystal clear, and very easy to follow. There were no instances of any pops, cracks, or hissing that I noticed. The score and songs are appropriate for this genre and never drown out any of the sound effects or dialogue, leaving this audio mix with decent marks.
Audio Commentary - Directors Andrew and Jon Erwin, along with producer Kevin Downes, sit down a give us an informative commentary about making the movie. They discuss how the script evolved over time, the casting, the themes and tones, some fun antics that went down on set, and how the editing process created the final touch of the film. If you like the movie, you'll want to listen to this.
Casting 'Moms' Night Out (HD, 7 mins.) - This is a look at how the casting process began, and how each actor brought that special something to the characters.
The Heart of 'Moms' Night Out' (HD, 4 mins.) - The filmmakers discuss the deep message of the film while their wives also talk about the filmmaking process.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 3 mins.) - There are four deleted scenes in total. None of which provide any real depth to the overall story.
The Art of Action (HD, 5 mins.) - This is a short feature on how the filmed the car chase sequence.
The Art of Improv (HD, 5 mins.) - Here is a look at how the final script was more of a stepping stone for the actor's to improv on, more than just reading verbatim the dialogue.
Bloopers (HD, 6 mins.) - Your standard flubbed lines, missed marks, laughs, and mistakes.
Trailers (HD, 8 mins.) - Trailers for other Sony films.
'Moms' Night Out' has its moments, but they don't come often. In addition to being a Christian-based film, the movie just tries to out-do the past conflict and journeys into the absurd to unbelievable. I think if they kept it simple, it could have been a better film. The actors do a decent job and it looks like they had fun with it, but with the jumbled chaotic story drive and the Christian preaching, this might only appeal to a select few. The video and audio are great and the extras are short but decent. You know if you're the market for this type of family comedy, but if you're not, feel free to skip it all together, even though it has Sean Astin in it.
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