“We all come from the same place.” Not only is that a line uttered in the first five minutes of Mother’s Day, but it also seems to be the entire thought process behind the decision to make the movie.

Garry Marshall’s latest star-heavy, plot-light ensemble film seems to follow the belief that a holiday about mothers is enough to engage audiences and make them so invested in the characters—despite zero character development—that they won’t notice any offensive comments, choppy dialogue, lifeless jokes, or planted attempts at sincerity.

The film follows a variety of mothers in the days leading up to the holiday. There’s Jennifer Aniston’s divorced mother whose husband remarries a hot twentysomething. There’s Jason Sudeikis’ single father whose children lost their mother just a year ago. Or perhaps you prefer Julia Roberts’ non-mother who gave up her child and went instead for a career. (Because women can’t have both.)

And if none of those resonate with you, there’s also the new mother whose own adoption has scarred her to the point of not wanting to connect with the father of her child. How about a pair of bigoted parents from Texas who wear American flag T-shirts and can’t fathom the idea that their two daughters could have fallen in love with — gasp! — someone who’s not white and — gasp! — a woman.

Sure, at this point you can make the argument that fans know what to expect when they enter a Garry Marshall film. But unlike Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day can’t even manage to establish a cheesy romance worth rooting for. All it manages is a few unintended laughs, some truly awkward musical cues, and forcing Aniston to utter the line “Thanks, clown.”

If you love your mother, do not make her see this movie. D

Mother's Day
  • Movie
  • 118 minutes