Over Mother’s Day weekend, in a thousand U.S. theaters, a family comedy called Moms’ Night Out turned into a Rorschach test. Did you see it? The movie, I mean.
Audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that rates movies, scored it 86 percent positive. (One mom posted on Facebook: “How did you get the cameras in my house?”) Critics, meanwhile, shredded it; only 16 percent were positive.
How to explain that enormous gap? Best to let top reviewers speak for themselves. But first, remember: it’s a comedy, not a documentary. And the co-writers/directors are known Christians. How bad could it be?
“Depressingly regressive and borderline dangerous,” said Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com. Why? It “peddles archaic notions of gender roles,” she said. Christy! It’s a comedy about moms needing a night out. One is a pastor’s wife. They love their husbands—no cheating, boozing, or swearing. The spouse is a life partner and not a sex object. You’re prejudiced. Let’s hear from someone else.
“Unintentionally grotesque” and “worthy of damnation,” Newsday’s Rafer Guzman calls it.
“Unabashedly anti-feminist,” says The Village Voice’s Inkoo Kang, and she slams the stay-at-home mom played by Sarah Drew of Grey’s Anatomy. “Allison’s lack of a profession,” Inkoo writes, “consigns the character into Eisenhower-esque irrelevance.”
Wait a minute. Did critics of The Hangover or Bridesmaids critique the characters’ onscreen professions as New York Times’ critic Neil Genzlinger May does now? “The character, frankly, is an insult to the millions of women who have much more to deal with,” he writes.
Neil, Neil . . . when did a mom’s choice to stay home to raise children become tantamount to social anarchy? It’s not really the movie that’s so objectionable, is it? What really annoys elitist, liberal arbiters of political correctness—be honest—is the film’s target audience.