Fun Mom Dinner

**1/2

Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Bridget Everett, Molly Shannon, Katie Aselton and Toni Collette in  Fun Mom Dinner - Four women, whose kids attend the same preschool class, get together for a "fun mom dinner." When the night takes an unexpected turn, these unlikely new friends realise they have more in common than just marriage and motherhood. Together, they reclaim a piece of the women they used to be.
"What just about saves this film from its scruffiness is the strength of the performances."

Fun Mom Dinner - "That sounds awful," remarks one of the mothers in this easy-come, easy-go comedy, and they're not wrong. The title is so American, you can almost taste the apple pie and cinnamon.

Set in the sort of all-white suburbia that you rather hoped had disappeared years ago, Alethea Jones' comedy, written by Julie Rudd - both making their feature debut here - broadly goes where others have gone before. The set-up is simple, four stressed-out mums - Emily (Kate Asleton), Melanie (Bridget Everett), Jamie (Molly Shannon) and Kate (Toni Collette) head for a night out on the tiles in a bid to get back a bit of equilibrium.

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Emily, for what it's worth, gets the lion's share of the plotting thanks to trouble on the marital front with husband (Adam Scott), who is left at home with a babysitting subplot and Kate's hubby Andrew (Rob Huebel). Jamie, meanwhile, is trying to find new romance after splitting with her ex, and as for Melanie, Rudd obviously feels she's larger than life enough for us not to need to see her other half.

What just about saves this film from its scruffiness is the strength of the performances. Everett, in particular - also terrific in fellow Sundance film Patti Cake$ - a the force of personality and delivery that is able to resuscitate even the weakest of lines. There's also a nice turn from Paul Rust as the sort of geek-with-a-heart-of-gold that Rick Moranis made his own back in the day.

But this remains a scrappy and hit and miss affair - for every bit of slapstick or one-liner that pays off, there are others, such as Everett in a onesie, that feel as though they could have been written for a film from the Seventies, and the pacing takes two steps forward and one step back.

The film is heading to Netflix, which is probably its natural environment, where mums of a certain class (middle) and ethnicity (white) stuck at home with the kids can gather with a glass of something white and sparkling, and a box of chocolates for a wry smile or two.

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2017
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Fun Mom Dinner packshot
Four mums decide to de-stress on a girls' night out.
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