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Film / Moms' Night Out

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Moms' Night Out is a 2014 Christian comedy film directed by the Erwin Brothers, starring Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, and Trace Adkins.

Allyson (Drew) and Izzy (Andrea Logan) are old childhood friends. Feeling frazzled in their life as mothers, they invite their pastor's wife, Sondra (Heaton), also a mother, out on a girl's night out, leaving their respective husbands to watch their children while they get to relax a bit. Of course, everything goes wrong. Their reservation was set for the wrong day, Allyson's sister-in-law, Bridget (Abbie Cobb), learns that her infant son Phoenix is missing, and the dads get up to their own trouble including dislocated shoulders, dead birds, and a police chase in a minivan.

Ultimately, they learn a lesson about how they can't solve their problems all on their own, but should look for help from their friends and family.

This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Badass Biker: Bones sets off to help the mothers in need on his Harley. In the process, he roughs up a stoner who was trying to obstruct them from finding Phoenix and tries to help them pull over their (apparently) stolen minivan. By the end of the film, he's pulled together the entirety of his gang, The Skulls, to look for Phoenix.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Allyson is terrified of her husband's best friend Kevin watching her kids, because he's a Manchild who doesn't like children. Turns out he's actually great with kids and quite fond of her children.
  • Bumbling Dad: The fathers, especially Marco, are pretty ineffectual overall, but they are good guys who try very hard.
    • Averted by Sean when he hears that Allyson is in trouble. He (very painfully) resets his dislocated shoulder to go to her aid.
  • Butt-Monkey: Hank, the drunk idiot boyfriend of Bridget's ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The cashier/receptionist at Bones's tattoo parlor
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kevin
  • Drives Like Crazy: The British cab driver, who says he learned on the Autobahn while serving a tour in Germany.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Sondra has an image of Donny Osmond somewhere low enough that she has to drop her skirt to show it to her daughter.
  • Funny Background Event: Just about everything Bones does in the police station.
  • Good Shepherd: Sondra's husband is a pretty good guy as well as a good pastor.
  • Guilt by Coincidence:
    • The fathers borrow the minivan because they need it to transport the kids. Their messages to the mothers go missing because Alysson confiscated their phones at the beginning of the night and stuck them in the minivan. The mothers report the van as stolen, which leads to a police chase and subsequent arrest of Kevin and Marco.
    • Also, Sondra attempting to get rid of the beer bottles in the bowling alley only for the spotlight to land on her with an armful of empty beer bottles.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Two nonlethal examples, one involving a cop's tazer, the other Bridget's pepper spray.
  • Mid Life Crisis Car: Pastor Ray's Chevy Chevelle.
  • Missing Child: Bridget's infant son seems to be missing through a good chunk of the movie as good babysitters hand him off to other people in a chain of emergencies.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Several. Bridget sees her ex (baby Phoenix's dad) with an attractive blonde and thinks he dumped the boy to go on a date, when he's actually interviewing for a job. Marco and Kevin get arrested and nearly shot by Sergeant Murphy when the kids say that they killed "Mama" (Mama is the name of the pet parakeet that Marco and Kevin accidentally killed while trying to catch it). Sondra assumes that her daughter took her husband's classic Chevelle to go partying, when Zoe was actually trying to find everyone and had no other car available. And Sondra at the bowling alley, getting spotlighted with an armful of empty beer bottles.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Everybody in the tattoo parlor at the mention of the word "police."
  • Preacher's Kid: Zoe, Sondra's daughter, chafes under her parents' rules, but ultimately winds up being extremely responsible (to Sondra's complete surprise), and realizes that her parents knew what they were talking about.
    • She gets introduced complaining that she might as well have the trope tattooed to her forehead.
  • Running Gag: The Eagle Cam. Apparently, everyone in the film is hooked on watching a live feed of the eagle in her nest, tending to her chicks. By the end of the film, it's become part of The Message about how God made us all to a purpose, and if we're trying, we're doing just fine.
  • Shout-Out: Sondra is likened by Allyson to her Gandalf, Oprah and Dr. Phil. This is likely a reference to Sean Astin gaining prominence for playing Samwise Gamgee in the film trilogy.
  • The Stoner: The guy at the front desk of the tattoo parlor seems to be very heavily implied to be this.
  • Team Power Walk: Allyson, Izzy, and Sondra do one as they approach the restaurant...for all of four seconds before Allyson trips over her high-heels and nearly faceplants on the sidewalk.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Marco's phobia of bikers leads to additional complications. Hilarity Ensues.