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Marshall law rules in Mother’s Day

Box office skull-and-crossbones Jennifer Aniston stars

Mother's Day will drive you psycho!
Mother's Day will drive you psycho!
Movie

Mother's Day

thumbnail

What did people do on specific holidays before we had these holiday-specific films from Garry Marshall? And such a cast!

Find showtimes

Garry Marshall got his start in television and hasn’t evolved one artistic iota since his days producing derivative spinoffs — a small-screen version of The Odd Couple and Happy Days, TV’s answer to American Graffiti.

This is Marshall’s 17th film in 34 years behind the camera. Most directors with his experience have forgotten more than Marshall’s learned. His single greatest contribution to the art of cinema will forever be a brief acting cameo as a casino manager in Albert “National Treasure” Brooks’s Lost in America.

The Flamingo Kid is not without its charms. Ditto watching Gleason and Hanks go at it in Nothing in Common and the romantic sparks forged between Pacino and Pfeiffer in Frankie and Johnny. For the most part, Marshall’s been content to clog multiplex arteries with celluloid plaque such as Beaches, The Other Sister, and the nose-plugging Georgia Rule. The latter stands as such a debacle, one’s shocked to learn they let him back in the state to film Mother’s Day.

This year’s paid vacation finds Marshall and Co. cashing in on another venerated Hallmark holiday, but it’s audiences that will pay the price for dipping into this muddied pool of politically correct unburdening. It’s another all-star multi-stick figure romcom where characters come out of the dealer’s shoe more shuffled than when they went in.

Marshall must be doing something right to continually court the likes of Oscar winner Julia Roberts. The ambrosial hooker comedy he did with her at Disney — the one released at the height of the AIDS epidemic — seems to have won Marshall the A-list movie star’s eternal loyalty. If Marshall blew his nose and said, “I want to make a movie out of this,” Roberts would willingly agree to lend her talents. The end result couldn’t have less consistency than his latest snotrag.

Video:

Mother’s Day trailer

Box office skull-and-crossbones Jennifer Aniston stars as a harried single mother of two, at wit’s end over news that her ex (Timothy Olyphant) traded-up by marrying a hot 20-something (Shay Mitchell). “Mother” is only half a phrase to describe Aniston’s arm-flailing, eyebrow-raising turn as a contentious set designer. Her breakdown in a Sprouts parking lot marks a career low, and I’ve seen The Bounty Hunter.

Her sister, Kate Hudson, in a performance basically reduced to reaction shots, is married to a foreigner (Aasif Mandvi), a piece of news she wisely keeps from her close-minded parents. When news leaks, her Trump-loving (his T-shirt proclaims him a “Hardcore American”) pappy (Robert Pine) has no trouble calling his son-in-law a “towelhead.” Nor do he and his wife (Margo Martindale at her most Mitchumesque) cotton to having a lesbian for a younger daughter (Sarah Chalke). Who cares if they’re bigoted assholes? In Marshall’s universe, the sitcom-ready couple are as cute as a bug’s rear.

Nurses with insulin shots should be posted at every theatre exit door. Expect a midget called Shorty; a patronizingly maudlin, flag-waving subplot involving father-of-two Jason Sudeikis coming to terms with his daughter’s first Mother’s Day since mom was killed in Iraq; nuns on workout treadmills; a weepy reunion between daughter (Britt Robertson) and adoptive mother (Guess Who?); and a visit to the ER when in reality a trip to the script doctor was more in order.

More offensive than all this combined: there’s not one image worth looking at in the entire picture. Lighting doesn’t match from shot to shot. And when all else fails, as is frequently the case here, if you can’t solve it, dissolve it.

It’s time Hollywood enacted Marshall Law, forever barring Garry Marshall from being allowed anywhere in the vicinity of a holiday-themed project that may or may not contain the word “Day” in its title. Thank God my mother didn’t live to see Mother’s Day.

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Mother's Day will drive you psycho!
Mother's Day will drive you psycho!
Movie

Mother's Day

thumbnail

What did people do on specific holidays before we had these holiday-specific films from Garry Marshall? And such a cast!

Find showtimes

Garry Marshall got his start in television and hasn’t evolved one artistic iota since his days producing derivative spinoffs — a small-screen version of The Odd Couple and Happy Days, TV’s answer to American Graffiti.

This is Marshall’s 17th film in 34 years behind the camera. Most directors with his experience have forgotten more than Marshall’s learned. His single greatest contribution to the art of cinema will forever be a brief acting cameo as a casino manager in Albert “National Treasure” Brooks’s Lost in America.

The Flamingo Kid is not without its charms. Ditto watching Gleason and Hanks go at it in Nothing in Common and the romantic sparks forged between Pacino and Pfeiffer in Frankie and Johnny. For the most part, Marshall’s been content to clog multiplex arteries with celluloid plaque such as Beaches, The Other Sister, and the nose-plugging Georgia Rule. The latter stands as such a debacle, one’s shocked to learn they let him back in the state to film Mother’s Day.

This year’s paid vacation finds Marshall and Co. cashing in on another venerated Hallmark holiday, but it’s audiences that will pay the price for dipping into this muddied pool of politically correct unburdening. It’s another all-star multi-stick figure romcom where characters come out of the dealer’s shoe more shuffled than when they went in.

Marshall must be doing something right to continually court the likes of Oscar winner Julia Roberts. The ambrosial hooker comedy he did with her at Disney — the one released at the height of the AIDS epidemic — seems to have won Marshall the A-list movie star’s eternal loyalty. If Marshall blew his nose and said, “I want to make a movie out of this,” Roberts would willingly agree to lend her talents. The end result couldn’t have less consistency than his latest snotrag.

Video:

Mother’s Day trailer

Box office skull-and-crossbones Jennifer Aniston stars as a harried single mother of two, at wit’s end over news that her ex (Timothy Olyphant) traded-up by marrying a hot 20-something (Shay Mitchell). “Mother” is only half a phrase to describe Aniston’s arm-flailing, eyebrow-raising turn as a contentious set designer. Her breakdown in a Sprouts parking lot marks a career low, and I’ve seen The Bounty Hunter.

Her sister, Kate Hudson, in a performance basically reduced to reaction shots, is married to a foreigner (Aasif Mandvi), a piece of news she wisely keeps from her close-minded parents. When news leaks, her Trump-loving (his T-shirt proclaims him a “Hardcore American”) pappy (Robert Pine) has no trouble calling his son-in-law a “towelhead.” Nor do he and his wife (Margo Martindale at her most Mitchumesque) cotton to having a lesbian for a younger daughter (Sarah Chalke). Who cares if they’re bigoted assholes? In Marshall’s universe, the sitcom-ready couple are as cute as a bug’s rear.

Nurses with insulin shots should be posted at every theatre exit door. Expect a midget called Shorty; a patronizingly maudlin, flag-waving subplot involving father-of-two Jason Sudeikis coming to terms with his daughter’s first Mother’s Day since mom was killed in Iraq; nuns on workout treadmills; a weepy reunion between daughter (Britt Robertson) and adoptive mother (Guess Who?); and a visit to the ER when in reality a trip to the script doctor was more in order.

More offensive than all this combined: there’s not one image worth looking at in the entire picture. Lighting doesn’t match from shot to shot. And when all else fails, as is frequently the case here, if you can’t solve it, dissolve it.

It’s time Hollywood enacted Marshall Law, forever barring Garry Marshall from being allowed anywhere in the vicinity of a holiday-themed project that may or may not contain the word “Day” in its title. Thank God my mother didn’t live to see Mother’s Day.

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Comments
4

A co-worker saw this movie and really liked it. If you really want to see a movie, never rely on the "opinion" of a movie critique. Otherwise, you may just miss some pretty good flicks (or see some stinkers they thought were good).

May 5, 2016

I hope you go and see it and report back with your findings.

May 5, 2016

I'm still waiting for Garry Marshall's take on "Arbor Day", "Record Store Day", and "Columbus Day Eve".

May 6, 2016

"Purim."

May 6, 2016

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