April 29, 2016 5:58:13 pm
This one could have been called ‘Desperate Moms’ because it is a sit.com masquerading as a film. That great American tradition of a Mother’s Day is around the corner and it gives a bunch of celebrated Hollywood names an excuse to get all weepy and sentimental. And, groan, banal.
Jennifer Aniston is the mother of two young boys, and her divorced husband has married again, to, in her words, a tween. That the hot and sexy tween-wife is trying to be a good stepmom, is making the abandoned Jen very grumpy indeed.
Julia Roberts, teaming up with her ‘Pretty Woman’ director, plays a popular TV show hostess who gave up her daughter for adoption in her misbegotten youth. Said daughter ( Robertson) is having, as a consequence, commitment issues : to say or nay to her Brit boyfriend, that is the question.
Kate Hudson is married to, as they say in the US, a person of colour ( Mandvi) and has lied herself into a corner both to her husband and her racist parents about each.
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Jason Sudeikis is a widower with young daughters who is so busy grieving that he doesn’t notice that his older girl is now ready for tampons-and-boyfriends.
And I have no hesitation in giving out all these details because there’s nothing I can do to spoil this film, in which all these characters speak as if they are part of a day-time soap, in lines that are so sudsy that bubbles blow around them. There are also lesbians and dwarves and other sundry ‘types’ floating around, and they all converge on the day that mothers are celebrated with floats and parades and speeches. And everyone is very happy.
Just how did Roberts, whose smile is still wide enough to light up any room she’s in, agree to wear that wig whose hideousness surpasses everything? Jennifer plays the insecure divorced woman in the broadest brushstrokes possible, exactly the way the part has been written. And I’ve never seen Hudson so ineffective.
The only thing that makes Mother’s Day stand out for me is the presence of a salwar-kameez and sari-clad Indian woman, who plays Mandvi’s lively mum. She’s also written very broadly, but at least she’s there, right in the midst of a flick with so many A-list white gals.
Yay for ‘desis’ in Amrika.
Cast: Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Jack Whitehall, Britt Robertson, Aasif Mandvi ; Garry Marshall
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