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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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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog We need do no more than we are doing at present; that is, to love divine Providence and abandon ourselves in his arms and heart.<br />—St. Padre Pio

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