* (out of four)
If you still want to see the PG-rated “Moms’ Night Out” after learning that it includes a tattoo parlor manager named Bones (played by country singer Trace Adkins) offering God-focused parenting advice in a prison waiting area, please go for it. You probably will love the movie.
Me, I almost slid off my seat. Not from laughter—from being pummeled with so much manic noise that it felt like being trapped in a shrillness simulator. “Moms’ Night Out” tries to have fun with three women’s attempt to give themselves a break but does a remarkable job of sabotaging anyone trying to escape their own stress.
Sarah Drew (“Grey’s Anatomy”) stars as stay-at-home mom Allyson, a self-described clean freak and wannabe mommy blogger suffering from writers’ block and a major case of the exhausteds. She just can’t understand why everything she thought she ever wanted (including three kids and a husband played by Sean “Rudy” Astin) isn’t making her happy. It’s like no one ever told her that parenting was hard or something.
(A moment to acknowledge how incredibly difficult it is to be a parent. Moms in particular are rock stars, and women hold society together.)
However, “Moms’ Night Out” has the comic timing of a Disney Channel sitcom crossed with shallow preaching. Rather than spend more time on how couples can establish better balance, directors Andrew and Jon Erwin (of the awful pro-life drama “October Baby”) spin a revolving door of shenanigans like the pastor’s wife (Patricia Heaton) struggling with auto-correct and Allyson’s pal’s mess of a husband bumbling around with the family bird and yelling mid-car chase, “Say hello to my little sippy cup!” There is also a taser, a recklessly driven minivan and myriad simultaneous misunderstandings.
Rarely have I so missed the comedic subtlety and social insight of “Daddy Day Care.”
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