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kenmorefield

Moms' Night Out (2014)

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Hard to tell from one round-table interview, but Sean Astin seems to be pretty well grounded.

I found it interesting that the "Christian" film industry is finally trying to make a comedy. Jury's out based on the advanced footage I saw, but the cast looks quite good. (FWIW, Patricia Heaton said she wasn't sure it was a "Christian film" so much as a family comedy "with characters who happen to be Christian.' Most everyone else on the set spoke of it as in the "Christian" genre--whatever that means). Make of that what you will.

Oh, and for the search engines: the Erwin brothers are best known for the film October Baby.

Edited by kenmorefield

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Opening next week, embargo lifted, so here's my (I think) spoiler-free review:

 

 

Moms' Night Out is the first (and so far only) “Christian” movie that I could maybe, sort of, imagine a non-Christian enjoying. Not every non-Christian, certainly, Maybe not most. But some…and that’s progress after a fashion. 

 

Edited by kenmorefield

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FWIW, my long-delayed review.

 

The studios have been doing some really weird things with regard to film promotion when it comes to "faith-based" films this year, at least where I live. Paramount didn't have any promotional evening screenings of Noah but *did* have an unusually selective critics' daytime screening. Sony didn't have any media screenings of Heaven Is for Real but did allow some other outfit that I've never heard of to show the film a month in advance to religious-community groups. Sony *did* invite me to an evening screening of Moms' Night Out, but it was 2-3 weeks before the release date, and it fell on the same evening as an event at my kids' school -- and since the screening took place in Langley, about an hour's drive from Vancouver (and closer to this region's "Bible belt"), I have no idea if they invited any regular media to that screening. (And there were no screenings at all for God's Not Dead, at least not that I heard of, but that film didn't open here until three or four weeks after it had opened in the U.S. and proved itself to be a big hit. I'm not even sure which company released that film in Canada; a friend of mine who works in the industry looked up who had submitted the film for a rating here, and he said he'd never heard of them.)

 

Anyway, all to say that I never had a chance to see this film *before* it opened, and now, today, the last day of its second week of release is also the last day it's showing here. So I feel like I came late to this one. But what can I say, family and other work got in the way.

 

Incidentally, my review links to a really, really scathing review of this film by Sam Sorbo, wife of Kevin, the star of God's Not Dead. She basically slams Moms' Night Out for being insufficiently and inauthentically "Christian" -- for being the sort of thing that clueless "Hollywood" produces when it tries to tap into our market -- and yet, y'know, Moms' Night Out was produced almost entirely by Christian-movie veterans, including the people who made the Christian films that Mrs Sorbo holds up as better examples of the genre than this one! Given Sorbo's personal ties to this subculture within the industry, I can only wonder what's going on behind the scenes, there.

 

kenmorefield wrote:
: I found it interesting that the "Christian" film industry is finally trying to make a comedy.

 

I know at least one of the Billy Graham films produced in the '90s was supposed to be a comedy; since every film produced by that outfit had to follow a certain narrative formula, they varied things by making each one in a different genre.


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I'm sure I'll never see the film, but that's a really good review. (I read a fair number of reviews for 'Christian' movies I'm not interested in seeing, out of interest in where the sub-genre itself might be headed...) I particularly like your point about the pastor's wife and the slight facade she has to construct in the performance of her 'role'. It might not be breathtakingly insightful, but it is an acknowledgement of what actual lives are actually like, instead of being purely a theological maxim in human clothing. Based on the 'Christian' movies I have seen, even that is an improvement.

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Rented this movie this weekend (you just try finding a new redboxable movie you can watch with 17, 15 and 11 year-old girls!) and was pleasantly surprised.  I didn't stay awake for the entire thing-- which isn't uncommon-- but I kept being woken up by Virginia laughing raucously, so that's a recommendation of sorts.  


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