Mother’s Day, the unfathomably bad new ensemble comedy by Garry Marshall, ends with a blooper reel. It’s not a particularly good blooper reel, but there is one great moment—perhaps the only good moment of the entire film. In it, Julia Roberts is seen in character (complete with that hideous wig) staring out the window of a restaurant waiting for a nearby train to pass as they wait for chance to do another take. The train is long and loud, and Julia sits patiently—but only for a while. As the shot suggests that the vehicle is infinite—chugging along as unstoppably as Marshall himself—Roberts decides she has had it. She turns to the camera and says something like, “How long is this fucking train?”
It’s the purest moment in Mother’s Day, an accidental recognition of its long-suffering audience. This is not just a bad movie, it is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen—an unfocused, unfinished, and unholy puree of robotic dialogue, lazy acting, bad racist jokes, and bad racist jokes about bad racist jokes. The film’s vaguely interconnected subplots follow a handful of pretty white Atlanta mothers as they struggle with divorce, adoption, homophobia, racism, death, Skype, and being unable to go anywhere without Julia Roberts trying to sell them ugly jewelry on the Home Shopping Network. Jennifer Garner has a single scene as a dead marine who loves karaoke. An actual baby wins a stand-up comedy contest. Nothing about this movie is relatable to people who have been born and raised by mothers on this planet.
So, if you plan to celebrate Mother’s Day with your mother next Sunday, don’t see this movie. Do just about anything else. Out of ideas? Try something from the list below.
- Tell your mom you have two weeks to live, sob with her for half an hour, say you were just kidding, then take her to Chili’s.
- Turn on Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, mute it, and play Meghan Trainor’s new song “Mom” on repeat in the background.
- Watch Ted Cruz slurp soup for two hours.
- Watch Ted Cruz mouth-breathe for two hours.
- Feed Ted Cruz soup for two hours.
- Spend the afternoon in your local vet watching animals being put down.
- Stare directly into the sun until it stops hurting.
- Listen to all the ringtones on your mom’s phone, in full.
- Watch Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day together.
- Watch Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve together.
- Watch Garry Marshall’s The Other Sister together.
- Watch Garry Marshall’s Exit to Eden together.
- Watch Garry Marshall’s Georgia Rule together.
- Watch Garry Marshall’s Beaches together. Twice in a row.
- Insult 81-year-old Garry Marshall to his face.
- Scramble up some eggs without disposing of the shell, serve the eggs to your mother while screaming, “EAT THE EGGS, MOM. EAT THE FUCKING EGGS.”
- Play your mom the complete audio of a therapy session that you secretly recorded.
- Spend the day watching the entire second season of True Detective, and—after every episode—promise your mom that it gets better.
- Paint each other’s toenails. Once the polish is dry, find a pair of pliers and remove each other’s painted toenails.
- Ask your mom to detail your conception.
- Tell your mom you’ve asked Susan Sarandon to act as your mother figure from now on, and that she politely accepted.
- Watch a Shark Tank marathon that’s exclusively episodes without Barbara Corcoran.
- Listen to the second season of Serial for the second time.
- Go to the gym with Kate Hudson.
- Go to the gym with Jennifer Aniston.
- Spend any amount of time alone with Julia Roberts.
- Ask your mom about her will.
- Have a two-hour conversation about the Zika virus.
- Buy your mom a beautiful Mother’s Day card, write “You mean nothing to me, and you never have” inside, and slide it under her door. Wait for her phone call.
- Call your mom and tell her you’re taking her out to a fancy lunch and that you’ll pick her up in two hours. Arrive five hours late in sweatpants, and when she asks why you’re late, pretend you never called her.
- Go hunting with Donald Trump Jr.
- Ask your mom if she needs help with her computer.
- Ask your mom who she plans to vote for and why.
- Turn on Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, but mute the television each time Christina Applegate says, “I’m right on top of that, Rose!”
- Take your mom to visit your state’s most depressing zoo or aquarium.
- Explain Snapchat to your mom.
- Explain “woke baes” to your mom.
- Explain the romance between Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian to your mom.
- Explain Gigi and Bella Hadid to your mom.
- Ask your mom to explain The Big Bang Theory to you.
- Bully a neighborhood child together.
- Bully a neighborhood dog together.
- Make a delicious Mother’s Day dinner together, then—just before you’re both ready to eat—dump it all in the garbage can while saying, “THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE ME FEEL.”
- Tell your mom you have tickets to Hamilton. Take her to see American Psycho.
- Call your mom at 7 a.m. on Mother’s Day, say, “Mom, I forgive you,” and hang up.
- Take your mom out to an expensive restaurant for Mother’s Day dinner, stop at a pharmacy while driving her home, and ask her to go inside and buy you a box of condoms because “there’s some weirdness” between you and the cashier.
- Sign your mom up for a Fabletics account and tell her it’ll be easy to cancel.
- Buy an Amazon Echo and spend the day trying to stump it.
- Discuss the pros and cons of renting Angie Harmon’s house.
- Take your mom on a long walk into the woods. After an hour of hiking, find an area of soft dirt between two large trees, stand solemnly over it, and say, “This is where I buried him.”
Image via Open Road pictures.