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'Moms Night Out' Feels Like a Dated TV Sitcom

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"Moms Night Out" is the kind of movie you feel you ought to like because it is so family friendly, and families have been crying out for ages for more "clean" movies. This one is definitely clean. Still watching it you wish it had just a little something extra that would make it more enjoyable. As is, it is a movie with some interesting/funny moments but it also has many moments that seem too frenetic and too preachy.

Sarah "Gray's Anatomy" Drew plays Allyson, wife of Sean (Sean Astin) and mother to three small children. She loves her husband and her kids but for some reason she isn't happy. Maybe it's because her house is a mess and so is she. To lift herself up out of her dumps she agrees to a moms night out with her best friend Izzy (Andrea Logan White) and her pastor's wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton).

Going out with the girls sounds simple enough but this "night" gets messed up fast. In a very short time Allyson's van is stolen, her sister-in-law's baby is missing, and her husband is on his way to the hospital. This all plays out in Lucy, Ethel, Desi and Fred fashion and it is confusing to say the least. It is also chaotic and bewildering.

Much of the fault of the failure of the film must be laid at the feet of Drew. As Allyson she just does not connect with the audience. She comes off as whiny and shrill. Even when she has her tender moments the audience is still not with her.

Countering her is Patricia Heaton. She has some of the brightest moments in the movie, but then that is as it should be. Heaton has been charming us for years; first on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and presently in "The Middle." She has uncanny comic timing and draws us to her character from the first moment the audience sees her.

Outstanding in the male members of the cast is Robert Amaya as Marco, Izzy's husband. Marco is a man on the verge of hysteria throughout the film. This leads him to act funny, talk funny and be funny. Also good is David Hunt (Heaton's husband) who plays the cabbie the women hail to take them on their adventures. Though his is not a big role Hunt takes advantage of every scene he has to make an impression.

The movie is rated PG for some mild action sequences.

If you are looking for a comedy that is not deluged with profanity and sexual innuendoes then you have found your movie. You can safely take your mother or even your grandmother to see it and not be embarrassed in the least. But if you are looking for a sharp comedy that thoroughly entertains then this is not it. "Moms Night Out" plays like a TV sitcom from a few years ago. It feels dated and in this case that is not a good thing.

I scored "Moms Night Out" a homebound 5 out of 10.