Moms’ Night Out – Girls Just Want A Night Off!


The trailers for Moms’ Night Out suggest a girls’ night out with a dash of Adventures in Babysitting. They don’t suggest it might be a faith-based movie. Oddly enough, the mainstream approach – with its very light touch – works surprisingly well. It ain’t art – but it ain’t ham-fisted (at least in respect to its Christianity) either.

Allison (Sarah Drew, Grey’s Anatomy) is a mommy-blogger without a hook – and kids who make Dennis the Menace look calm and collected. Sondra (Patricia Heaton, The Middle) is a pastor’s wife with a belligerent teen daughter, Bridget (Abbie Cobb). Izzy (Andrea Logan White) is mother of twin toddlers.

While her kids make Allyson doubt herself on every level – a situation exacerbated by her Type A personality – her sweetly supportive husband, Sean (Sean Astin) is usually on the road for work. Sondra’s husband Ray (Alex Kendrick) has his family and his congregation to keep his hands full, but is loving father who cedes a lot of authority (and the resulting headaches) at home to his wife. Izzy’s husband, Marco (Robert Amaya), has no confidence about his parenting skills (correctly, as it turns out) but cares so deeply that he is as sympathetic as he is hopeless – which is why she lets her ex, Joey (Harry Shum Jr.) babysit.


When Allyson gets Sondra and Izzy to commit to a badly needed girls’ night out, it is with the hope that the three will have a nice relaxing evening chatting over dinner in a nice restaurant – while their husbands babysit. What could possibly go wrong?

It starts when the restaurant screws up their reservation – which leads to bowling and (shudder) the Dance Cam. Meanwhile, the babysitting is going horribly wrong – beginning with a car switch, a tattoo parlor and, eventually, a police station.

Drew is superb as the conflicted, Type A mommy-blogger who’s working on her last nerve; Heaton gives Sondra’s tight rein on Bridget a slight edge that seems contrary to her basic personality, and White takes Izzy in a manic direction that is almost completely different from Allyson’s.

Trace Adkins gives a solid supporting performance as Bones, the grizzled tattoo artist who is sure he knows Sondra from somewhere, and David Hunt gives a warmly broad performance as a transplanted Brit cab driver who stays with the trio just to see how things play out.

The script, by Jon Erwin and Andrea Gyertson Nasfell, is nothing ground-breaking or original, but it has heart and folds its faith-based lessons into the story reasonably deftly. Directors Andrew Erwin and Jon Erwin manage to give the movie a berserk, frenzied pace that stops just short of cartoonish.

Moms’ Night Out proves that you can make a faith-based film without being obnoxious about it – even (especially) while going slapstick. It’s not quite as good as Adventures in Babysitting, but it’s definitely a good Mother’s Day movie.

Final Grade: B-

Photos courtesy of TriStar Pictures