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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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Pedro de San José Betancur: Central America claimed its first saint with the canonization of Pedro de San José Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City on July 30, 2002. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala. 
<p>Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change. </p><p>“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy. </p><p>Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line that the Franciscans had established. </p><p>Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent. </p><p>Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Out of this group came the Bethlehemite Congregation, which won papal approval after Pedro's death. A Bethlehemite sisters' community, similarly founded after Pedro's death, was inspired by his life of prayer and compassion. </p><p>He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve <i>posadas</i> procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries. </p><p>Pedro was canonized in 2002.</p> American Catholic Blog We sometimes try to do everything on our own, forgetting that the Lord wants to help us. Let's never be afraid to admit that we are weak and can't do things on our own. St. Paul gives us a great example: "On my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses" (2 Corinthians 12:5).


 
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