Fun Mom Dinner (R)

Comedy 89 min. August 4, 2017
By Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
Joining the recent boom of girls just wanna have fun cinema (and more specifically, the moms gone wild subgenre) is Fun Mom Dinner, a perfectly enjoyable way to spend 81 minutes. In her debut feature, Alethea Jones directs a dream team of mismatched matriarchs (Toni Collette, Molly Shannon, Katie Aselton, and Bridget Everett) from a script by first-time screenwriter Julie Rudd (whose husband, Paul Rudd, makes a cameo). Emily (Aselton) is the new mom in town who agrees to a night out with Jamie (Shannon), the Instagram hot mom, and Melanie (Everett), the militant traffic warden mom. Emily brings along her old friend Kate (Collette), the mom who hates other moms and prefers smoking joints to attending PTA meetings. The four mothers start with little in common, and even some bad blood, but they end up sharing an unforgettable (and unsurprising) evening while their men (Adam Scott, Rob Huebel) stay at home with the kids.

Initial missteps get resolved with a little vaping (as they often are), and the film rolls along on a mixed bag of hit or miss jokes. Jones briefly employs some suggestive shots and cuts to create the illusion that she's straying from the plot's predictability, but the façade doesn't hold for long. In the end, Fun Mom Dinner plays out exactly like you'd expect it to -- some punchlines, a plot snag, and unexpected bonding. A familiar routine isn't necessarily a bad one, though; there are far worse ways to spend the night than with a bunch of moms letting loose.
Alethea Jones Toni Collette, Adam Scott, Molly Shannon, Jaz Sinclair, Katie Aselton Julie Rudd Momentum Pictures

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