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MOTHER’S DAY is overflowing with the milk of human diversity– of the Hollywood kind. It’s chock full of big names and plot lines, kids, parents, grandparents, adoptees looking for their mothers, mothers looking for their cast-offspring, couples married, co-habiting, divorced and widowed, gay, straight, mixed raced, and one British accent.

Jennifer Aniston is Sandy, who first appears wrapped in a towel, her skin glowing as if fresh from an AVEENO ad. She’s a divorcee whose ex-husband Henry played by Timothy Olyphant has just remarried a twenty-something knockout in hotpants played by Shay Mitchell.

Kate Hudson is Sandy’s friend Jesse who is secretly married to Russell, Asif Mandvi, and estranged from her trailer park parents (the marvelous Margo Martindale and Robert Pine) who are on the road again, and from whom she’s hidden her marriage to an Indian as well as her lesbian sister’s (Sarah Chalke) marriage to a woman with a lopsided hair cut.

Then there’s Jason Sudeikis as a widower whose late wife, a Marine, is played by Jennifer Garner who appears in home movies perfectly made up and in uniform singing karaoke on a military base in the middle east.

Finally Julia Roberts appears in an extraordinarily unflattering red wig as an unfulfilled fake-o TV celeb named Miranda, hawking mood pendants on cable TV. Roberts comes  trailing “Pretty Woman” cast mates Hector Elizondo and Larry Miller whose roles here are less than pointless.

There’s a birth, a wedding, a stand up comedy contest, and an asthma attack, plus a few impromptu parties that no one could possibly put together in the allotted time and on the given occasions, one of which is the eponymous “Mother’s Day” and on which everyone is suddenly available to attend.

There’s no time to latch onto any plot, character, or event, all of which intersect rapidly, in no particular order, and in the most contrived ways which we are given to understand are random. The characters all seem to live perfectly imperfect lives, in perfectly decorated homes, under perfect lighting, with perfect hair, make up, and accessories, and with infinitely disposable incomes. It’s all capped off by a scene wherein a creepy toothless party clown suddenly gives Sandy some impromptu advice, which makes no sense and which I cannot remember.

Director Garry Marshall takes no control of this inane script written by four people who have clearly never talked to one another or inhabited planet earth. What the heck–it’s only a movie–and a mother of a mess.

 

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