Fun Mom Dinner, opening this weekend, offers audiences at least the third opportunity just this summer to come and see what happens when a bunch of otherwise responsible ladies cut a bit loose. This time it’s not about a bachelorette weekend or a raucous weekend in New Orleans, it’s just about a group of moms getting together for what should be a nice dinner.
The moms in question are Kate (Toni Collette), Jamie (Molly Shannon), Emily (Katie Aselton) and Melanie (Bridget Everett). The four are connected by a class all their toddlers are in, but not everyone gets along with each other. That means the evening starts off rough but as the alcohol (and more) flows things loosen up and the ladies begin seeing what they have in common. Meanwhile, the clueless husbands are left to their own devices, which isn’t great and which shows how much they depend on the women in their lives.
Looks like there was just one poster for the movie, but it pretty clearly explains the premise to the audience. All four ladies are shown and it’s apparent we’re catching them well into the evening here. Not only are they all smiling, but Melanie is carrying Emily on her back and wearing a blue unicorn onesie. So…yeah. While Jamie still looks pretty put-together (still carrying a box of crackers), Kate is a bit the worse for wear, her outfit smudged and dirty. They all look like they’re having a good time, an impression reinforced by the copy declaring “Every mom needs a time out.” The movie’s comedic credentials are explained not only by that photo but by the cast list at the top, which includes the four leads along with names like Adam Scott, Rob Huebel and others people will recognize.
We’re immediately introduced to the frustrating, poop-filled lives of the moms we’re following in the first trailer. They’re just trying to get out for a fun dinner by themselves. Soon the drinking begins and that leads to other drug use and they’re off to the races, engaging in all kinds of hijinks and shenanigans while the dads and kids are left to their own devices.
This is largely the same territory mined by last year’s Bad Moms as well as Rough Night and other movies, showing the people who are supposed to be responsible for everyone going a bit off the reservation. The cast is likable enough and there are a few laughs here, but it can’t help but seem overly familiar.
Online and Social
There wasn’t much of an official web presence for the movie, it seems. There were only two things I could find: A page on the Momentum Pictures website that has a synopsis, the poster, the trailer and a list of theaters it’s opening soon at and a Facebook page.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nothing I’ve seen or am aware of. I’d wager there’s been some online advertising done, particularly since it’s available via VOD as well as in select theaters, and those ads may be driving to one or another download service.
Media and Publicity
The first bit of publicity came when it was announced the movie would have its official premiere at Sundance 2017. It was quickly picked up, before it even screened even, by Momentum Pictures and Netflix.
The cast all did the talk show rounds in the weeks leading up to release. All four ladies made various appearance, either on their own or in some combination, on late night and daytime shows to talk about making the movie, working with the other actresses and more.
I’m going to try really hard not to sound sexist here. It’s hard to see this campaign being a huge success in getting people’s attention and interest not just because of its relatively small scale but because it’s selling territory that’s been well-trod in the last three months. That’s not to say that we can’t handle more than one story that’s focused on the outrageous antics a group of ladies get up to because they’re women. If this was the third movie in a short period of time where guys were acting out and cutting loose it would seem just as tired.
That being said, the biggest asset the marketing has is the charm and talent of the four leads. Collette is always very good (love her in The Way Way Back) and Shannon is riding a wave of resurgence thanks to last year’s Other People. Aselton has some name recognition thanks to “The League” and more and Everett, who I’m not as familiar with, has some solid comedy credentials including Trainwreck, “Difficult People” and more. It’s not clear if that will be enough to activate the audience to check it out, but it’s the strongest hand the campaign has to play.
One surprising thing is that there isn’t a stronger call to action to find the movie on VOD, which seems like the primary release platform. That’s not mentioned in the trailer, nor are there links to make the purchase on any of the web profiles. Seems leaving immediate conversions out of the content mix is a missed opportunity.