Mother's Day

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Mother's Day Movie Poster Image
All-star ensemble comedy's predictable jokes make it stale.
  • PG-13
  • 2016
  • 118 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Clear, obvious messages about the power of a mother's love -- and how important that role is in your life, whether you're a child or an adult.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All of the younger women are attentive, loving moms to their children, but some make questionable decisions about what they tell their own mothers. Russell's mom is funny and helps Jesse's mom come to terms with the fact that their kids are in an intercultural marriage. Some stereotyping of Indian characters (see Language for more).


A father falls and breaks his leg; a boy has a scary panic attack.


Married couples kiss; a woman wears revealing clothes. Innuendo. Jokes about how long it's been since there has been any action. A couple of comments about women's bodies.


A few uses of "s--t," "damn," and "a--hole," plus one "f--k." A white couple uses the racial slur "towelhead" and jokes about how dark a half-white, half-Indian child's skin is; their daughter mentions she wasn't allowed to date anyone whose skin was "darker than a Frapuccino."


Brands/products featured or mentioned include Mercedes, Cadillac, MacBook, iPhone, Adidas, Samsung, Goose Island, ProFlowers, Radio Flyer, Honda, Pep Boys, and Volvo.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink beer and wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mother's Day is the third holiday-based movie from director Garry Marshall. With an all-star cast led by Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, and Kate Hudson, the comedy follows several interconnected characters as they deal with motherhood issues. There's infrequent strong language ("s--t," "a--hole," one "f--king") and some racial stereotypes/insensitive comments about Indian characters (like "towelhead" and "darker than a Frapuccino"). There are a few marital kisses and a scantily clad character but no sex scenes, and overall the movie, which promotes strong bonds between mothers and their children, is intended to be a celebration of motherhood.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byDan G. April 30, 2016

Soap Opera on Steroids Has Too Many Bad Examples to be for Children

Characters struggling with demons are on parade in this movie-style soap opera. It seems that all morals are thrown out the window in an attempt to justify un... Continue reading
Adult Written bymary9390 May 1, 2016

Crude, Boring with Just a Few Good Parts - Don't Waste Your Money

This is another cheap script which tries to get laughs with inappropriate language and actions involving children, on at least 3 occasions. Just do yourself a... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byDoglover267 November 5, 2018
It’s a good movies
Teen, 16 years old Written byghtehrani October 21, 2018

Not bad

It was really sweet at points, definitely made me laugh - mostly from it's ridiculousness. It's one of those cheesy ones where the moral of the film i... Continue reading

What's the story?

MOTHER'S DAY follows a series of Atlanta-area characters who cross paths during the week leading up to the titular holiday. Mom of two Sandy (Jennifer Aniston) is so friendly with her ex, Henry (Timothy Olyphant), that she thinks he wants to get back together -- but instead he tells her he's eloped with the much younger Tina (Shay Mitchell). Sisters/neighbors Jesse (Kate Hudson) and Gabi (Sarah Chalke) try to reconcile with their bigoted mother (Margo Martindale) after she surprises them with a visit and discovers that one daughter is married to an Indian man and the other is a lesbian stepmother. Meanwhile, young mom Kristin (Britt Robertson) keeps refusing marry her baby's loving father because of her abandonment issues over not knowing her biological mother. And widower Bradley (Jason Sudeikis) must act as both father and mother to his two girls, while jewelry entrepreneur Miranda (Julia Roberts) considers her business her baby.

Is it any good?

Director Garry Marshall takes his all-star cast and wastes them in this banal, forgettable holiday-themed comedy. Although there are admittedly a few laughs courtesy of a stand-up comedy contest that's part of the story, much of the movie is eye-rollingly mediocre. Sure, it's momentarily amusing to see Aniston and Sudeikis share the screen again, but most of the jokes are stale or straight-up imitations of other comedies. In one scene, Bradley must suffer the supposed indignity of buying his adolescent daughter tampons and grabs the microphone away from the cashier, trying to double-check the price. Sound familiar? Basically the exact same thing happened in Mr. Mom.

And as talented as the cast is, the script is so obvious and predictable that you can tell what will happen and who will come together (and how) from nearly the very beginning. Probably the only thing worth noting is that character actor Hector Elizondo appears as Miranda's faithful agent. Elizondo is to Marshall what John Ratzenberger is to Pixar; he's been in every one of the director's theatrical releases (remember him and Roberts in Pretty Woman?). Skip this theatrical release and stream it instead. Since it's so insubstantial, it's the kind of comedy best saved for when you'd really rather multitask.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Mother's Day's messages about motherhood/mother-child relationships. Who has the healthiest relationship in the movie, and why?

  • Is the movie making a statement about what makes a "good" or "bad" mother? Do you agree? Can you think of other movies about moms? How does this one compare?

  • Two white characters make racist/insensitive comments about a character who's Indian. Is it ever funny to rely on stereotypes for laughs?

  • Which characters would you consider to be role models? How do their actions contrast with those of other characters?

  • This isn't the first holday-centric ensemble comedy; do you think the formula works? What holiday do you think will be next portrayed in this manner?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love moms and movies

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