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Review: ‘Fun Mom Dinner’ is a plate full of aimlessness drizzled with a few giggles

(L-R) Bridget Everett as Melanie, Molly Shannon as Jamie, Katie Aselton as Emily, and Toni Collette
Bridget Everett as Melanie, left, Molly Shannon as Jamie, Katie Aselton as Emily and Toni Collette as Kate in “Fun Mom Dinner.”
(Momentum Pictures)

While good company might make or break a night out, sadly it can’t save “Fun Mom Dinner” from being more than just fitfully funny. This raunchy, female-driven comedy should be able to rely on the strength of its cast, but even the collective talents of Katie Aselton, Toni Collette, Molly Shannon and Bridget Everett aren’t enough to make the movie worth a babysitter’s hourly rate.

Emily (Aselton) and her longtime friend Kate (Collette) join fellow mothers Melanie (Everett) and Jamie (Shannon) for a night out in Los Angeles. They begin at a restaurant, then wander the city in search of a good time, fueled by wine, weed and a desire to let loose from their roles as mothers. Meanwhile, Emily’s and Kate’s husbands (Adam Scott and Rob Huebel) struggle to wrangle their own kids in their wives’ absence.

“Fun Mom Dinner” means well, with its messages about the stress of trying for parental perfection, forging an identity beyond motherhood and creating female friendships. But first-time feature director Alethea Jones and screenwriter Julie Rudd have made a film that meanders as its characters do, and its aimlessness doesn’t serve these women or the plot well. Whether the problem lies with the script or the editing, the movie leaves out key moments that would serve as connective tissue, uniting these fast friends and their narrative beyond a string of giggle-inducing line deliveries.

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‘Fun Mom Dinner’

Rating: R, for language throughout, crude sexual material, and drug use

Running time: 1 hour, 21 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center

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