Film Review: Fun Mom Dinner

Alethea Jones’ Fun Mom Dinner is the latest in a series of female ensemble adult comedies. Despite the premise, the film is not quite as wild and humorous as expected.

The mother of four children, Kate has little in common with other mums. When she is dragged along to a mothers’ dinner by her friend Emily, Kate is less than enthused. However, the evening takes an unexpected turn…

Directed by Alethea Jones and written by Julie Rudd, Fun Mom Dinner aims for the bawdy, one-wild-night style of comedy which has had varying degrees of success over the years. The film throws together four distinct characters, linking them by virtue of motherhood. The film reaches for a mothers gone wild theme, with the vast majority of the duration focussed on this one evening.

One of the most striking things about Fun Mom Dinner is that the action is not that wild at all. There are not the outrageous moments that viewers may expect from a film such as this. Instead, the four main characters have a late night out, perhaps reminiscent of the days with fewer responsibilities. The screenplay has a few humorous gags, but this is not a laugh-a-minute film. There is some gross-out comedy at the beginning and some crude jokes scattered throughout, but the film is funniest when it is at its most natural. Some of the cultural reference seem a little dated, and indeed the film charms when it harks back to the John Hughes’ teen films of the 1980s. The nostalgia factor works well, yet the film seems to crave contemporary resonance.

The four protagonists are developed in so far as they fit particular archetypes. Performances are decent throughout, yet it feels like the talents of Toni Collette, Molly Shannon, and Bridget Everett are wasted. Meanwhile, Adam Scott gets to mope in a minor role. The 1980s-heavy soundtrack is great.

The overriding message of Fun Mom Dinner is that mothers are people too, outside their roles as caretakers. Yet the film makes motherhood look rather unappealing, despite its intention of showing mothers who are letting loose. Too few jokes are ultimately what make the film rather forgettable.

Fun Mom Dinner is available to watch on Digital Download from Monday 7th August 2017, and can be downloaded here: