First Hit: Schmaltzy in so many ways, and yet I was touched by the four major mother’s day stories.
The stories are: A divorced mother Jennifer Aniston (as Sandy) dealing with her husband’s new young wife Tina (Shay Mitchell) and he children’s interaction with the new step-mom.
Britt Robertson and Julia Roberts (as Kristin and Miranda respectively) who represent an adoptive child finding and reconciling with her mother.
Jason Sudeikis (as Bradley), whose wife was killed while serving her country, raising two girls alone and how will he treat this emotive day.
Lastly Kate Hudson and Sarah Clarke (as Jesse and Gabi respectively) as sisters who have marriages (one sister marries a foreigner and the other is in a gay marriage) that their parents reject.
As with most Garry Marshall films, the film has multiple interrelated stories and they are not hard hitting. Even though they aren't amazingly dynamic or intellectually challenging, the stories touch on themes the general population knows about and has experienced in some way.
Marshall makes it easy for the audience to laugh about these situations, which really have much deeper roots and societal impact.
Aniston is really good. I loved when she was sitting in her car while in the grocery store parking yelling to herself about her situation. As the mother who is now dealing with a rival, she’s tells this story well. Mitchell is good as the new step-mom. Robertson is very good as the young mother being hesitant to marry her child’s father because of the uncertainty she has from not ever meeting her biological mom. Roberts’ smile makes her role as TV sales spokeswoman work well. When she meets her grandchild for the first time, the emotion welling up in her is perfect. Sudeikis is strong and funny as the dad learning how to be the sole support for his two smart wonderful daughters. Hudson and Clarke are great as sisters hiding their lives from their parents. The screenplay, although its grit level is softball in nature, was written by Tom Hines, Anya Kochoff Romano, and Matt Walker. Garry Marshall directed this with his usual easy listening manner, which was entertaining, included funny bits, and there were a couple of tears due to my own life experiences.
Overall: Although it’s a light softball type film, there are deeper roots Marshall is letting the audience ponder.