Monday, July 31, 2017

FUN MOM DINNER: Alethea Jones and Julie Rudd's mom-com opens on multiple platforms

Think of FUN MOM DINNER as the low-budget version of Bad Moms -- only friskier, funnier, better written, acted and directed. And though it is every bit as manufactured and manipulative as its predecessor, because of its consistent air of geniality and the improvisational style of the writing and performances, the end result goes down more easily than you might imagine. As written by Julie Rudd (shown below, left) and directed by Alethea Jones (below, right), and with four fine actresses essaying those mom roles, the movie is pretty consistently buoyant and entertaining.

The set-up proves relatively quick and efficient, as we meet the moms in question (below, right to left): Toni Collette, Katie Aselton, Molly Shannon and the movie's surprise "find," Bridget Everett, who pretty much steals the film as the sexy, heavy-set, forthright and funny mom named Melanie.

Two of the mothers initially loathe each other -- Everett and Collette (shown below), the latter in her best holier-than-thou mode that soon morphs into genuine friendship -- while the other two deal with their own problems. Aselton, towing a husband who is overworked and emotionally absent, easily proves that she can handle the leading romantic role, while Shannon does her sweet-and-goofy nerd routine as the lonely single mom in the bunch.

Our girls, on their evening out, get drunk and naughty, have near-flings (Adam Levine makes a nicely sexy bar owner), go clubbing, do some karaoke (below), and take an ocean dip, all while bonding and learning. Meanwhile we spend some time with two of the husbands (Adam Scott and Rob Huebel), both of whom are brought to believable life with humor and more sense and honestly than we often get from the men in some of our current chick flicks. Paul Rust makes a lovely foil for Shannon's character, while writer Rudd's hubby Paul get a funny cameo as the local pot dealer.

There's little new here, but thanks to the talented ensemble both in front of and behind the camera, there's enough liveliness and humor to fill the 82-minute running time -- even if the movie seems to end twice (with the second one not all that necessary).

From Momentum Pictures, Fun Mom Dinner hits theaters, VOD and digital this Friday, August 4. In New York City, look for it at the Village East Cinema; in the Los Angeles area at Laemmle's Monica Film Center. It will also play nine other major cities. Click here then scroll down to view all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters. 

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