Faith-based films have become downright commonplace this year. But faith-based comedies? Comedies that work? That’s still a very short historical list — the George Burns blockbuster “Oh, God!” and Andy Griffith’s “Angel in My Pocket” are the only two to come to mind.
“Moms’ Night Out” doesn’t join their ranks. A PG-rated romp that never romps, it lacks the jokes, sight gags, pacing and performances that are the stuff laughs are made of.
Sarah Drew plays Ally, a stressed-out mother of three tykes. She’s unhappy, so her husband (Sean Astin) urges her to take a night for herself. She talks her mother-of-two pal Izzy (Logan White) and, oddly, that icon of motherly virtue, her pastor’s wife (Patricia Heaton), into a girls night out “to remember.”
As the night runs from losing their reservation at a pretentious restaurant to losing their phones to losing their minivan to losing a baby, and their husbands losing their minds, overwhelmed by simple child care, “Mom’s Night Out” sets itself up for laughs that it rarely delivers.
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A few simple sermonettes about motherhood and parenting work. But the filmmakers learn, the hard way, that “Sermonizing is easy, comedy is hard.”