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Polished Edge: New comedy brings hope for frazzled moms
By Rusty Wright
Hang in there, frazzled moms. Hope is coming!
But you’ll have to wait just a bit longer. “Moms’ Night Out,” a new movie comedy about the challenges of parenting, recently wrapped shooting and is headed for release in 2014.
According to the actors and producers who pitched the film to press during a recent set visit, this film looks to be a hoot. Director Jon Erwin (“October Baby”) said his wife rarely reads scripts he’s considering. When he showed her this one, she devoured it and implored him to make the film.
Start with some well-known actors, such as Sarah Drew (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy; “Rudy”), and Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”; ABC’s comedy “The Middle”). Heck, TV Guide named Heaton among the funniest women on TV.
Mix in a realistic plot line to which even many of the actors can relate. Astin’s character comes home one evening to find the house a mess and his young wife (played by Drew) sitting on a closet floor watching her DVD player and eating, semi-catatonic from the day’s stresses. She needs a night out with her girlfriends.
“I’ve been there so many times!” exclaimed Drew of her role.
Husbands plan to care for the kids while the moms enjoy a dressy evening, adult conversation and “food not served in a bag.” It’s only three hours outside the house; what could go wrong? Apparently everything. The synopsis speaks of police chases, parakeet escapes, bowling shoes, and biker gangs.
Word is that Astin’s character is a saint. Heaton claimed, “Every woman in America is going to wish that she was married to Sean Astin,” warning men in the assembled press corps, “You’re screwed!”
Which is why I don’t want to show this article to my wife. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
Actor Robert Amaya (the “snake king” from “Courageous”) related how he connected personally with the story when he read the script to his wife: “We were just dying laughing together. It was so much fun. We were hooked right away.”
Laughter with Life Insights
The filmmakers have more than laughs in mind, using humor to convey significant life insights. Jon Erwin’s brother and co-director Andrew Erwin (“October Baby”) wants this film to “celebrate the beauty of motherhood” and to “make women feel affirmed and validated.”
Drew explained that her character’s emotional journey -- “from feeling like you’re not enough and can’t measure up to understanding that you’re loved” -- mirrors her own.
Alex Kendrick (“Courageous,” “Facing the Giants”) plays Heaton’s husband, a pastor. He feels parents have to approach the home life as a team: “When moms see this movie, they’re going to understand that whoever wrote this movie understands that chaos” of parenting. They’ll “be reminded that the journey is worth it” since they are making “a priceless investment” in their kids.
Faith and Family
Kendrick reflected on the faith-and-family filmmaking genre in which he, the Erwin brothers, and others are involved. “Our hope is to synergize,” he insisted. “We are not competitors” but “a team” seeking to make an impact on culture.
Pleasing God is his major goal. “I want to finish well,” he admitted. ‘“Well done, good and faithful servant.’ I want to hear that [from God].”
“Moms’ Night Out” is a Kevin Downes production of an Erwin Brothers film, shot on location in Birmingham, Ala. The Erwins’ father, Hank, a former Alabama state senator, was instrumental in passing legislation making Alabama attractive to producers of faith-and family-friendly motion pictures.
Rusty Wright, www.rustywright.com, is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively.
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