Gary Marshall was a wonder to watch as a director, and this offering, his last gift to his public, was no exception. Marshall could hang onto dozens of reins and guide them all to a single end without letting any one story feel lost. And even when he loaded his movies with multiple big talents, no one character in the ensemble dominated your attention. Whatever you may feel about his choices of script or story, these are achievements worth mentioning. Part of the reason for his success is that he keeps his actors grounded. Even during their most outlandish moments, the characters feel real or at least coming from a very real place.
Now is Mother’s Day all a bit too simple and a lot too predictable? Is it full of perfectly imperfect mothers and families that get through hardships with a deep breath and a smile? Well, yes. But that’s the genre here… you don’t come for big surprises, but rather for emotional satisfaction; on that it delivers. This film is that wonderful old sweater you put on to feel warm and loved. Nothing wrong with that for an evening.
There isn’t a bad performance in this film… though a few are a bit broad, they fit the style and point. It will make you laugh and cry and even at 2 hours the story keeps pulling you along to the inevitable ending. Watch, enjoy, and dream all your family issues could be so easily and happily solved.