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Review: Mother's Day, or Three Changes Garry Marshall Made to His Beloved "Hallmark Holiday" Film Genre

Let's hope we don't evolve into a society where "Ex-Wife's Day" becomes a thing.

What is a "Hallmark Holiday" movie? It's a film that tackles such commercial holidays as Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, with disappointing critical success, and directed by Garry Marshall.

The first two, creatively titled Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve, came out in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Both were critical flops, with VD (not venereal disease, okay) scoring 5.7/10 on IMDb and 18% on Rotten Tomatoes, while NYE scored 5.6/10 and a single-digit Tomatometer rating of—drumroll—7%. And yet director Garry Marshall seems to firmly believe he's sitting on a gold mine with this new genre he's discovered that he refuses to call it quits after that last movie.

Here are three changes he's made with Mother's Day which, sadly, scored low with the critics.

1. He ditched the old writer.
The previous films were written by Katherine Fugate, and presumably because of those two films's diminishing returns, Marshall decided to ditch her and go for a writing ensemble this time. Mother's Day has four writers, namely: Tom Hines, Lily Hollander, Anya Kochoff, and Matthew Walker. And speaking of ensemble...

2. He ditched the ensemble cast.
Allow me to refresh your memory:

Yes, that's NINETEEN actors.

And this one, too:

This one has eighteen. One less.

Compare that with the Mother's Day movie poster:

Not in photo: Hector Elizondo. Again.

No, this film doesn't have only four actors. It's about mother's day, so those three women must have children, right? Well, Kate Hudson has a bi-racial child, and a slightly racist mother. And a lesbian sister. Julia Roberts has an estranged daughter here, and a grandchild. Jennifer Aniston's character here is called "Sandy with two sons". And Jason Sudeikis? He's a soccer mom.

And finally...

1. He waited 5 years to release this.
I imagined what must've gone through Garry Marshall's head regarding this film's release. Probably something like this: "New Year's Eve, seven percent on Rotten Tomatoes? Seven freakin' percent? Why? Who doesn't like New Year's Eve? Is it because the Chinese have a different new year? Or is it because I released New Year's Eve too soon after Valentine's Day? Yeah, that's probably it. But I've got a lot of other ideas lined up! I've got Thanksgiving, Good Friday... So how long should I wait before releasing my next film Mother's Day? Two years? Three? Four?"

So what's next for Mr. Marshall? Possibly Father's Day.

"Actualy, let's hope not."

Mother's Day. USA. 2015.

Original rating: 6 / 10
Huge improvement over VD and NYE: + 0.1
LGBT-friendly plot: + 0.1
Slightly racist jokes: - 0.1
Shay Mitchell being half-Filipina: + 0.2
Not enough John Lovitz: - 0.1
Final rating: 6.2 / 10


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