When I first wrote about the trailer for Fun Mom Dinner, I claimed that no parent would ever act like that, be they the father or the mother. A couple of days after publishing it, I spoke to a friend (himself an expectant father,) and he informed me he knew plenty of people who could be described in similar ways to the characters that were portrayed in the film, and maybe therein would lie the audience. Suffice to say, maybe my childless mindset isn’t suited to reviewing this sort of film…
On the other hand, no one I know with a kid has the time to watch such a film, so onward I go!
Fun Mom Dinner is terrible. There’s literally no other way to say it. Whilst it probably isn’t on the same level as the steaming heap of detritus that is The Emoji Movie it really is a far cry from going down as one of the greatest films of the year.
The premise of the film (written by Julie Rudd and directed by Alethea Jones) revolves around four fairly stereotypical mothers as they go out for an evening (hence the title.) You’ve got Jaded Mum who is fed up of her life revolving around her children and hates the parents who love that aspect, Divorced Mum who is trying to get back into the dating game, but failing, Struggling with Marriage Mum, whose love life is falling apart due to work and children, and Pro-Active Mum who is the polar opposite of Jaded Mum, loves her kids and volunteers to do everything with them. On the patriarchal side, you farelittle better, you have the dads who are portrayed as bumbling, moderately incompetent, who are mostly hands off parents who struggle to deal with even one evening of looking after their own children… Let’s just say that neither side comes off well in this story.
The plot is incredibly predictable, lacks subtlety, and comes across as a vain attempt at emulating Bridesmaids or The Hangover in its jokes, which are painfully obvious at best and teeth-grindingly hackneyed at their worst. Over the course of the evening, both sets of parents slowly come to realise just what is wrong with their lives. They then get over it through a series of incredibly blatant lessons that might actually be more understated if they were thrown up on screen instead of having the characters talk us through every step of the revelation. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to discover that everything all turns out happily ever after in the end.
This is a film that really doesn’t do well on any level, the comedy is lacklustre, and the lackof racial diversity is rather atrocious. All four of the protagonists are white, middle class, suburban housewives. Overthe course of the film, possibly three people of colour appear, and of those, one is on screen for approximately five seconds and doesn’t get any lines of dialogue whatsoever.
Regardless of the film’s quality, there are worse movies out there, and Fun Mom Dinner could be a big hit with parents of young children and those who are drunk at 4:00am and just want something mindless on to fall asleep to. But if you were hoping to see a film where stereotypes are subverted and the characters feel like real, fleshed out people, find yourself something else to watch. This will just leave you feeling sorely disappointed.