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Moms’ Night Out/Rated PG for thematic elements and action sequences.

Headed for DVD soon, MNO opened the day before Mother’s Day, and the story line opens on Mother’s Day as well. It’s a simple and familiar story told with a lot of good natured humor and cleverness. The pace is steady from the start to the final fade out.

It’s all about a 30-something mom, played by 30-something Sarah Drew, best known for her continuing role as Dr. April Kepner on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy. She is the mother of three small children who appear to be making her lose herself into the black hole of mommy, housewife, and haggard chauffeur. She needs a break.

Sean Astin is her 30-something husband who travels a lot, leaving Drew at home to cope with the kids. This does not appear to be an easy job. Logan White is her 30-something friend who has her own problems. Patricia Heaton from TV shows The Middle and Everybody Loves Raymond, plays a slightly older mom and the wife of the pastor of the local church everyone attends. She has a 17-year-old daughter.

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About 30 minutes into the film the three ladies decide to leave the kids at home and have the Mom’s Night Out of the title: just the three of them out for a nice dinner and a little fun. Not even any drinking. What could go wrong? Well, this is a movie so we know the answer: Everything. Fortunately, “everything” is a lot of fun. No bad language. No violence. No sex. No snarling evil villains. Unfortunately, it also appears to have no box office appeal.

The nice dinner turns out to be a bowling alley adventure due to a small mistake. The ladies’ car disappears with a parakeet named Mama aboard. Why are they in an alley? And, what’s going on back home? You don’t want to ask.

Along the way, singer Trace Adkins shows up as a sage biker gang-banger with a chequered past. There is also a very funny British cabbie. The guy behind the counter at the tattoo parlor is also a barrel of laughs. There’s even more fun ahead at the local jail, after a run-in with the police.

It’s a sweet, funny, feel-good Mother’s Day movie. Be sure to stay until the very end of the credits, because the story continues with lots more fun and cleverness.

Rated 3.4 out of 4.0 reasons, moms rule. And deserve a night out.

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