Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Say What?

It's another movie review about...well...reviews.  Now if you follow me here, I have lamented quite frequently about good film critiques that turn out to be about what I would consider lousy movies.  I've been duped by the likes of "Hello, My Name is Doris,"  "The Meddler," and "The Family Fang."

Now the film featured above is the latest holiday comedy offered up by Garry Marshall.  And if you read the reviews for this, there was more venom than there is a Donald Trump debate rehearsal.   You would think that Marshall is the single mastermind behind ISIS.

Okay, so with such awful word of mouth, how the hell did I wind up seeing "Mother's Day?"  Well, what do you think is the answer to that question?

A)   I'm a cinematic masochist.

B)   I actually like to see lousy movies because they make extra funny blog pieces.

C)  I had to find a reason to get out of the house because my housekeeper was coming and she works a lot better when nobody is around.

And the answer?   Well, a little of A), a bit of B), and a whole shitload of C).   

That said, "Mother's Day" isn't all that bad.  It certainly had more entertainment value for me than the three movies mentioned at the top.  I mean, when you see a Garry Marshall movie, you don't expect great art.  But, somehow, I always get at least one laugh and smile.  That's more than I can say about most of the films I've seen of late.  

Truth be told, Garry Marshall has a lifetime hall pass from me for bringing us Tony Randall and Jack Klugman in "The Odd Couple."  Plus he's a nice guy who I met once while peeing in adjacent urinals at Warner Brothers.   Now, some of his recent work has been very shlocky.   But, in reality, good shlock is better than pretentious comedy any day of the week.   

"Mother's Day" is one of those comedies with two dozen characters that you know will be somehow connected by the end of the two hours.  This one centers around the May holiday and so moms are the focus.

Jennifer Aniston is recently divorced dealing with her ex-husband's new and incredibly young wife who is making inroads with her two young sons.   Oh, and as soon as you learn that one of those kids has an asthma inhaler, you can pretty much write the last ten pages of the script all by your lonesome.

Kate Hudson is a woman who never told her bigoted parents she was married to an Indian doctor.  Meanwhile, her sister has also withheld the news that she herself married another woman.

Julia Roberts, wearing a red wig that makes her look like Bonnie Franklin in the first season of "One Day at a Time," is an aloof Home Shopping Network celebrity who is confronted by the daughter she gave up for adoption.

And Jason Sudeikis is a widower raising two daughters.  It's the first Mother's Day since Mom was killed in some military skirmish.   For all we know, it could have been Benghazi because, frankly, we still don't know what happened at Benghazi.   By the way, Jennifer Garner is the dead soldier in very small flashbacks which leads me to believe that the Ben Affleck divorce settlement was not sizable.

I know this sounds pretty cheesy.   And it is.   Cheesy.   Gooey.  Manipulative.  

But there are moments in your life that all of the above is okay.   As per usual, this is the typical Garry Marshall production.   There are more writers listed than there are in the Toluca Lake phone book.   The screen credits are full of Marshalls, including a voiceover from sister Penny.   His usual co-star, Hector Elizando, also appears on cue.   And there are plenty of in-jokes.   Um, Blueberry Hill Cemetery.   Shades of Richie Cunningham on "Happy Days."

Yeah, I guess it sounds ghastly.   But, "Mother's Day" hit me the right way at the right moment.  I will forget about it five minutes after I finish typing this.   But, maybe that's not bad.   Because I will never forget the three movies I mentioned at the top of this article.

Now those films WERE bad.

LEN'S RATING:  Two-and-a-half stars.

Dinner last night:  Cheese tortellini and salad.

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