A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fun Mom Dinner is a raunchy, female-led comedy à la Girls Trip, Bad Moms, and Bridesmaids -- but considerably tamer, except for the language. There's a ton of swearing ("f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "a--hole," "c--t") in basically every scene of the movie. Characters also have detailed, crude conversations about marital sex (how often they have it, how much they perform certain acts, whether they're still desirable, etc.). A couple of the women smoke pot, one kisses a man who isn't her husband (but stops it from going further), and they all get pretty drunk and stoned after their titular dinner. On the plus side, the movie does depict how motherhood can bring different kinds of women together as friends.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
FUN MOM DINNER is exactly what the title promises: a comedy about four moms who get together for a much-needed night out and end up boozing, smoking, dancing, and complaining about unhelpful husbands, dormant sex lives, their former careers, divorce, and more. The mom of both a baby and a preschooler, Emily (Katie Aselton) has recently moved to the same town as her high school bestie, Kate (Toni Collette), a stay-at-home mom who's washed her hands of the parent volunteer trap and prefers to steal moments of sanity in the tub. When super-volunteer/former military servicewoman Melanie (Bridget Everett) and sweet, recently divorced Jamie (Molly Shannon) ask Emily out to dinner, she asks if she can bring Kate along. The dinner starts out tense and unpleasant. But after a shared joint and some mutual appreciation between alphas Kate and Melanie, the night continues with more drinking, karaoke, flirting, and other shenanigans. Meanwhile, Kate and Emily's husbands (Rob Huebel and Adam Scott, respectively) bond over a night with the kids.
Is it any good?
With humor falling somewhere between the raunchfest of Bad Moms and the squeaky-clean Moms' Night Out, this comedy features talented actors but doesn't really revitalize a tired, predictable concept. Directed by Alethea Jones and based on a script by Julie Rudd (whose husband Paul makes a silly cameo as the Orthodox marijuana dispensary owner), Fun Mom Dinner does little to dispel the notion that motherhood, like high school, is basically full of types: the type A organizer, the cool girl who's too hip to bother, the sweet and accommodating nerd, the most likely to succeed, and so on. At the very least, though, the women -- unlike many teen girls in movies -- do manage to overcome their petty differences and recognize that they each have something to contribute to the others.
Comedian Everett stands out with her scene-stealing antics and loud proclamations, whereas Shannon stays subdued in a much quieter role. Aselton (far tamer here than in The League) is pretty much the everywoman who can't figure out how to deal with her new identity and keep the fire burning in her marriage. Adam Levine has a supporting role as a hunky bar owner who flirts with Emily. And Collette (as Kate, the "edgy" one who regularly smokes pot and performs sex acts on her husband during Jimmy Kimmel) still isn't nearly as out there as Kathryn Hahn in Bad Moms. It's appreciated that the movie doesn't try to desperately throw a bunch of shocking full-frontal scenes or graphic jokes in the mix to get a laugh. But it still fails to be as fun as intended.
Talk to your kids about ...
Do you think the movie includes any stereotypes about motherhood? Why do you think movies and TV shows often depict women struggling with balancing family and work?
What do you think about the growing number of edgy, women-focused comedies? Does it feel different or unusual to see women swearing, getting drunk, and acting wild? Why or why not?
- In theaters: August 4, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: September 12, 2017
- Cast: Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Molly Shannon
- Director: Alethea Jones
- Studio: Momentum Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 89 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language throughout, crude sexual material, and drug use
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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