(FYI - This is my honest review. I am in no way being endorsed for this. I'll share the things I liked about Mom's Night Out, and also my concerns - and I'll do so in a not-that-organized fashion!)
For the first half of the movie I was pretty disappointed. I had gotten myself pretty excited about this movie by the time it came to seeing it, and I had high hopes. I basically go to the movies 2-3 times a year, so it's a pretty big deal for me and I like to make the most out of these events. The first half of the movie didn't elicit the gut-wrenching laughter I was hoping it would, but this really picked up in the second half, and by the end I was glad I went - read on!
She's over-stressed, her-kids-are-nuts-and-she-never-sleeps, yet-her-job-is-the-best-ever seems to be the theme of motherhood these days, with a new video popping up just about every week on Facebook. And though that is a message many need to hear - there are also dangers there. Are we making excuses for ourselves? Are we taking it for granted that children are normally disobedient and disrespectful? Are we scaring single people out of the idea of having children? Judging by it's opening scene, it looked like Mom's Night Out was going to be another one of these.
And yet, when Allyson turns to Bridget and says "This mom thing - it's crazy hard!" I nodded in agreement - motherhood IS hard. But it is also SO GOOD. Often, as mothers, our expectations are "too high" in that they are OUR expectations - not God's, not even our husband's. I once read that God gives us enough time to do the work HE would have us do. If at the end of every day we still have 6 things left on our to-do list, perhaps it is because our priorities are not His. If you're feeling overwhelmed, like you can't keep the house clean, drive the kids to all their playdates, write two blog posts a week, and have a home-cooked meal on the table every day when your husband comes home ...one way to start re-prioritizing is by asking your husband what he would like your priorities to be. You might be surprised! And also - accept help when its offered! Oh how our pride does us in! I'm learning this more and more. As Christians, we are part of a FAMILY of believers. And we are meant to help one another. Let others help you! Even be so bold as to ASK for help.
And now back to the review! :)
I think it is so great that Christians are making and acting in movies which are competing with Hollywood in terms of quality. From the trailer, I didn't know this movie was a "Christian" film (I'm still not sure it is - only people can be Christian, after all!). The acting was quality, the storyline was good, and the Christianity blended in obviously with the storyline. Really this was a movie about people who happened to be Christians - so you would expect their faith to be part of their life - and it was! I think that is all really great.
That said, although it can hold it's own against secular films of a similar genre perhaps, I wouldn't exactly call Mom's Night Out "great art" - and maybe it didn't aspire to be that. This raises some interesting questions...
- How do we define "great art"?
- Is there an objective standard, or is beauty truly just in the eye of the beholder?
- When we are told to "do everything as working for the Lord" (Colossians 3:23), is it okay to intentionally create something mediocre?
- What does it mean to create something which is inconsistent with our belief system?