Mother’s Day | Screen | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Mother’s Day

If you love your momma, do not take her to see this unfunny ensemble comedy


I didn’t like Valentine’s Day, and I checked out of the tedious New Year’s Eve to think about the pros and cons of owning a lemur. But both of those holiday-themed ensemble comedy misfires were better than the pile of crumpled Hallmark cards that is Garry Marshall’s latest. Set in an Atlanta suburb where white ladies just do yoga when they’re not having sit-com-level conflicts with their children, there is a truly not one storyline you can’t see coming. (Dad buying tampons — will there be a price-check blared over the PA? Hahahahahaha.) Not one bromide about mothers and family that hasn’t already been turned into a long-distance calling-plan advertisement. Not one “star” (Kate Hudson, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Anniston) with any spark. Not one reason to have cartoonish goober characters (RVers from Texas, natch) just so the film can get laughs from having them say racist things. Not any explanation why Julia Roberts’ character — a QVC-esque hawker who pushes crap jewelry on unhappy women — sports a shit show of a frump wig. (Marshall made Roberts a mega-star with Pretty Woman, and as truly awful as that film’s gender politics are, we still adore her big, fluffy hair in it.) If you love your momma, do not take her to see this movie. She may cry, because she loves Julia Roberts movies, but your tough love, sparing her this horror, will be the real gift.

Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary
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Flamingo Fest at the National Aviary

By Mars Johnson