08th Aug2017

‘Fun Mom Dinner’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Molly Shannon, Bridget Everett, Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Adam Levine, Paul Rust, Paul Rudd, David Wain | Written by Julie Rudd | Directed by Alethea Jones

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Four moms, whose only common ground is their kids’ preschool class, arrange a fun mom dinner with the sole aim to drink wine, gossip, and bond without worrying about their kids, husbands and housework for the night. The dinner guests include the newly divorced Jamie (Molly Shannon), super mom Melanie (Bridget Everett), the stressed-out Emily (Katie Aselton), and Emily’s best friend and social outcast Kate (Toni Collette), who was more than a little reluctant in accepting the invite. The night begins as a disaster, but the combination of alcohol, karaoke, and a very cute bartender (Maroon 5′s Adam Levine), leads to an unforgettable night where these seemingly different women realise they have more in common than just motherhood, mess and men.

Part of the new wave of “Mom” movies, following hot on the heels of the success of Bad Moms, which itself was inspired by the “woman can be as wild and gross as men” movies like Bridesmaids, Fun Mom Dinner may be lumbered with a cumbersome title, but at least it has a few laughs and gross-out gags to keep things interesting inbetween the rather all-too-polite conversation. For that’s the rub, despite getting up to all sorts of “non-mom” things: smoking in the bathroom of a restaurant, wearing unicorn costumes, an hitting up a weed dispensary, etc.; these are still moms – moms who want to keep up the pretense of being good, ney perfect, moms even when they’re trying to let loose on a wild night out.

However it the mom-ness of the characters that gives Fun Mom Dinner it’s much-needed heart. Each and every one of these women are just that… women. Written as ordinary women, with flaws, wants, needs and desires, this group of characters and more importantly actresses, keep the film together when a number of the laughs, unfortunately, fall flat. Which is surprising, especially given that one of the weakest sequences in the film involves both actor Paul Rudd and his Role Models / Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain. Thankfully comedienne Bridget Everett (Lady Dynamite, Trainwreck) brings all her skills to the table as Melanie, making the best of the script and adding the kind of obnoxious, over the top madness to proceedings that this film sorely needed.

But Fun Mom Dinner is not just about the titular moms. There are dads, and prospective suitors, in the film too – namely Rob Huebel and Adam Scott as the husbands left home [badly] taking care  of the kids whilst the moms are out on the town. Meanwhile Paul Rust is somewhat wasted as the ever-helpful as Barry, who becomes besoted with Molly Shannon’s Jamie and hep the ladies find their missing friend Emily. His character, whilst providing the odd laugh, is criminally underused and Rust doesn’t get to show more of the sensitive funnyman behaviour seen in the likes of I Love You Beth Cooper.

Admittedly, Alethea Jones’ movie is not going to set the comedy world alight (it’s even a step down, comedically, for Jones after her direction on the web series Cop Hard), but if you’re looking for a more meagrely-paced, *almost* family friendly comedy that has a heart, then Fun Mom Dinner will fit your requirements to a tee.

Fun Mom Dinner is available to watch on Digital Download now.

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