FUN MOM DINNER: Breezy & Adequate Entertainment
Although not a life changing film, let alone a particularly memorable one, Fun Mom Dinner has enough charm to keep you entertained.
As soon as Fun Mom Dinner begins, we get an immediate sense that it’s going to be a somber telling of the trials of motherhood with its rather moody score and how the main characters start to go through the motions. But then, all of a sudden, one of them gets faeces flung in her face and the opening credits come on with “Head Over Heels” by the Go-Go’s playing in the background. Right then and there, we get treated to a film that is amusing yet is nothing more than light, brisk entertainment.
Fun Mom Dinner deals with four mothers: Jamie (Molly Shannon), Kate (Toni Collette), Melanie (Bridget Everett), and Emily (Katie Aselton), whose only connection is their kids’ preschool kids. One night, they decide go out to dinner to take a break from their motherly duties. The night gets turbulent at first but it starts to become more of an adventure with marijuana, alcohol, karaoke, and a cute bartender (Adam Levine). Over the course of the night, they begin to learn more about one another and realize they have more in common with each other than they think.
Not Badder Than Bad Moms
Admittedly, before watching it, I had my fears that this would end up being another Bad Moms, which was also about a group of moms trying to forego their motherly duties. But thankfully, that turned out not to be the case. Fun Mom Dinner is mainly about a group of mothers trying to abandon their responsibilities just for a night while Bad Moms is more about mothers trying to forego their responsibilities altogether, trying to avoid being an archetypal “perfect mom” that always fulfills their children’s wishes.
While Fun Mom Dinner does get pretty crass the way Bad Moms does, it doesn’t go as overboard or try to make a statement with its raunchiness like Bad Moms. Bad Moms is vulgar in a way that it tries to show that female comedies can be just as vulgar and crude as male-driven comedies.
But this one is a raunchy female-driven comedy shown through a more feminine gaze as it is written and directed by women. Screenwriter Julie Yaeger Rudd (wife of Paul) and director Alethea Jones (who makes her feature film debut) relievingly put more emphasis on the friendship between the four ladies rather than the shock value, because much of the humor comes from their interactions. Whether they engage in drunken karaoke or share a marijuana joint inside a bathroom stall, I found their escapades entertaining even if they weren’t laugh-out-loud funny and in spite of the fact that there wasn’t necessarily a full-fledged story. Though that could be because the film runs at about 80 minutes.
As For The Moms Themselves…
The four lead actresses manage to be very game and alive in their respective performances. Although, the MVP manages to be Toni Collette as Kate, a mother who is so fed up with doing or talking about “mom stuff” that she’d gladly lock herself in her bathroom and smoke a joint, cutting everyone else off. Toni Collette is one of our most reliable actresses working today and here, she gets to showcase her knack for playing the comedic straight man. But she carves out a sensible arc for her character who is initially unfazed by the camaraderie of the other three mothers yet slowly bonds with them over the course of their adventurous night.
However, the supporting male actors are able to shine as much as the ladies do. Paul Rudd has a nice cameo as a pot dealer, while Adam Levine gets to be slyly charming as a bartender that tries to charm the pants off of Emily. Also, Adam Scott is his usual funny self as Emily’s husband Tom along with Rob Huebel as his friend Andrew. There is even a subplot involving Tom and Andrew checking in on what the ladies are doing throughout the night, following their Instagram posts out of worry that they may end up doing something wrong- although that side plot never really goes anywhere. The film is mainly about the titular moms and they successfully carry it on their shoulders.
Fun Mom Dinner: Conclusion
Overall, Fun Mom Dinner is a light and breezy comedy that isn’t meant to be life changing but still quickly does its job at being simple entertainment. The four lead actresses look like they’re having fun and viewers might as well. It isn’t something to rush out and buy a ticket to, but is worth watching on streaming- and if these ladies went out for another fun mom dinner, I’d gladly watch.
What are some of your favorite female-driven comedies? Let us know in the comments below!
Fun Mom Dinner will be released in the US on August 4th.
“The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.” Read the Letter of Solidarity here. Make a donation to the legal fund here.