Moms' Night Out

  • Review Date: May 10, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Bland faith-based comedy supports traditional gender roles.
  • Review Date: May 10, 2014
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
11
12
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14
15
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Positive messages about the importance of motherhood -- and also about taking time for self care and finding fulfillment on multiple fronts. But the movie's reliance on traditional gender roles related to parenting may not resonate with all viewers.

Positive role models

Allyson represents mothers who are stressed by the ins and outs of parenting, often without help from their partners; she loves her children but is frazzled. Her husband is kind and well meaning, but he's also a bit clueless when it comes to childcare. Traditional gender roles are reinforced.

Violence

A police officer accidentally tasers a woman. A man punches another man in the nose and is later head-butted by a different man. A father and son are both injured and taken to the hospital, where the father slams his own dislocated shoulder against a wall to snap it back into place. A woman pushes and shoves a man out of anger and frustration. A man is hit with pepper spray in the eyes.

Sex

A couple of marital kisses and references to a new pregnancy. A mother makes it clear that her teenage daughter may not wear revealing clothes to go out with a boy.

Language

Insults like "tramp," "pathetic," and "leech on society."

Consumerism

Several Sony Vaio computers, a Toyota Sienna minivan, and Groupon are prominently featured, as is a biker's Harley tattoo (and motorcycle). Allyson has a Vera Bradley bag.
 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A couple of characters appear drunk or stoned. A recovering alcoholic (who's never seen) is said to have left in search for a drink, so characters set off to look for her at a bar. At a restaurant, adults are seen with wine glasses on their tables. At a bowling alley, a waitress carries a tray of beer bottles, and a pastor's wife says she can't be seen around alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Moms' Night Out is a faith-based comedy about three stay-at-home moms who get away for a night on the town, only to have their plans dashed by unforeseen obstacles. Although there's virtually no language (aside from a couple of insults like "tramp") or sex (just a couple of brief marital kisses), the movie isn't really meant for younger viewers, who won't get the marital/domestic humor or the more mature themes about identity crises and maternal breakdowns. There's also some drinking (and a couple of characters who appear drunk or stoned) and punching/pushing/shoving. Although the trailers don't necessarily make it clear, Moms' Night Out contains overtly evangelical Christian messages and themes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Allyson (Sarah Drew) is a suburban stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to three young children who's at the end of her proverbial rope, in large part because her husband, Sean (Sean Astin), is often away on business -- even on Mother's Day. All she'd really like to do is start her own mommy blog, but with all the chaos of her daily life, she can't find any time for herself. So when her husband finally comes home at the end of a stressful Mother's Day, Allyson decides that the next Saturday night, she'll invite her best friend, Izzy (Andrea Logan White), and her mentor, pastor's wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton) on a MOMS' NIGHT OUT. But of course, things don't go as planned as a mixed-up reservation, overwhelmed husbands, and a missing baby lead to a night of wacky misadventures.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In many ways, Mom's Night Out is the opposite of I Don't Know How She Does It and other frantic working-mom comedies. Instead of focusing on the harried life of moms who have to balance working outside the home and raising their children, Moms' Night Out follows the just-as-stressful (but, as the filmmakers see it, even more rewarding) life of a stay-at-home mom. The premise has potential, and the trailers feature some of the movie's funnier bits, but once the action starts, viewers will quickly realize that this is very much a Christian film (a fact that may turn off viewers who don't share the filmmakers' faith), like Courageous or Fireproof. (The director of Courageous, Alex Kendrick, even has a supporting role here as Allyson's pastor/Sondra's husband.)

For families who wish there were more faith-based films on the market, this is a fine pick. The movie's central message is that while an at-home mother may struggle to find her way, ultimately she's doing God's work by being home with her children. Unfortunately, the flip side of that message is that fathers are secondary parents who can't figure out how to "babysit" their own children for one night without landing in the emergency room. Also unfortunately, the movie just isn't very funny. Drew, who's known as the perky Dr. Kepner on Grey's Anatomy, plays Allyson as too shrill and controlling to be empathetic, and pretty much the only likable character is tattoo parlor owner Bones, played by country singer Trace Adkins. Moms deserve a funnier night out a the movies!

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about who you think Moms' Night Out is intended to appeal to. Is it just for moms/adults? Do you think only families/viewers who embrace the movie's faith-based messages will appreciate it? Why or why not?

  • How would you describe the movie's point of view about gender roles and family responsibilities? Do you think most fathers are as bumbling and clueless as the ones depicted here? Are most mothers as controlling and stressed out?

  • Discuss the popularity of movies that take mostly in one day/night. How does this comedy compare to other movies about a night full of misadventures?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 9, 2014
DVD release date:September 2, 2014
Cast:Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin, Sarah Drew
Directors:Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild thematic elements and some action

This review of Moms' Night Out was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Adult Written bymaevek February 19, 2015
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

'Mum's night out.'

'Mum's night out,' is a very good family film. It brought back many happy memories of my childhood to me. Some people may say the film is sexist as the mum stays at home but someone has to stay at home with the kids. It is such a funny and down to earth film.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 10 and 13 year old Written byLeener66 January 17, 2015
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Clean and Cute

Although a little exaggerated in what most moms would go through in a night out, it is meant to encourage moms to have an identity, a night out, a purpose, and to recognize that sometimes moms take on too much and feel like a failure. Very positive message. If you are used to profanity, sex and violence, this movie will appear boring and squeaky clean. I loved it because that's not what I want in a movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bycool_girl77 December 21, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

amazing

This movie is amazing it is great for a family to watch over the weekend. it is really funny. so yay if any won sees it i hop you like it.

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