Director Garry Marshall added his name to the long list of cinematic royalty who shuffled off this mortal coil this year, and while one should not speak ill of the dead, he didn’t join the choir invisible before leaving us one last crime against celluloid: his third and final instalment in one of modern cinema’s most cynical trilogies.
Following the soulless Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, Mother’s Day follows stars Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Julia Roberts in a toxic ode to a greeting card holiday. It plays out like a sucrose catalogue of tripe that fails to be funny but succeeds in being smug, racist and even homophobic. It doesn’t mean to be: it just isn’t witty enough to know how to call out despicable attitudes without actually becoming despicable itself. And if you manage to stay for the whole duration of the film, you’ll be treated to a final credits song medley that feels as if Marshall is flipping you the bird from beyond the grave, egging you on to cringe so hard your spleen might rupture into a million little fleshy pieces. Do yourself a favour: if you’re hankering to see a film whose title refers to mothers this year, hold out for Bad Moms.
Mother’s Day | Directed by Garry Marshall (USA, 2016) with Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts. Starts August 25.