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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Moms' Night Out

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Andrea Logan White, Sarah Drew, Patricia Heaton and Sammi Hanratty star in a scene from the movie "Moms' Night Out."
Good intentions are not enough to sustain the wholesome but weak comedy "Moms' Night Out" (TriStar). Though faith filled and family-friendly, the movie—helmed by directors, and brothers, Jon and Andrew Erwin ("October Baby")—is just not very funny.

Stressed-out moms Allyson (Sarah Drew), Sondra (Patricia Heaton) and Izzy (Andrea Logan White) take a break for a night on the town. But the relaxing excursion they've planned soon turns into a series of frantic misadventures.

Partly, these are based on miscommunication with their husbands: Allyson's supportive mate Sean (Sean Astin), Izzy's easily overwhelmed hubby Marco (Robert Amaya) and Sondra's solid spouse Ray (Alex Kendrick), a Baptist minister. But they also involve Sean's sister Bridgette (Abbie Cobb) whose infant son—left in the care of her responsibility-shy ex, Joey (Harry Shum Jr.)—has gone missing.

The quest for the baby leads to a tattoo parlor where one of its artists, leather-clad biker Bones (country singer Trace Adkins), joins the mix. And, since Allyson's minivan has also inexplicably disappeared, a British-born cabbie (David Hunt) gets drawn into the chase as well.

Christian themes are prominent in "Moms' Night Out," and the quiet moments during which faith occupies center stage are more successful than the manufactured mayhem to which most of the running time is devoted. In the same serious vein, the picture also boasts a moving affirmation of the rewards of parenthood.

Though much of the humor falls flat, there are a few amusing interludes. One of these features Allyson's frustrated and flustered interaction with a spacy restaurant hostess played by Anjelah Johnson. Overall, however, there's something strained about all the would-be wackiness on display.

The film contains fleeting slapstick violence. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I—general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.



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Thomas Aquinas: By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor. 
<p>At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239 he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle’s philosophy. </p><p>By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family’s plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother’s dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year. </p><p>Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism. </p><p>His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished. </p><p>The <i>Summa Theologiae</i>, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, “I cannot go on.... All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” He died March 7, 1274.</p> American Catholic Blog We talk often about how we are God’s “hands and feet,” which is true. That being said, we can’t fall into the trap of thinking God needs us like we need Him. He’s God—which makes the reality that He wants to use us and be in a relationship with us an even sweeter, more profound truth.

 
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