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If you’ve ever been a mom, you know this moment: everything is going haywire, and the father of your children is nowhere in sight. It seems that nothing more could go wrong. And then it does.

Time for a girls’ night out.

In Moms’ Night Out, Allyson needs a break. She arranges a night out with two other moms, expecting a night of elegance and fun with her friends. And then everything starts to go wrong—again.

In the tradition of Date Night or Bridesmaids, minus all the gross-out humor, Moms’ Night Out combines the familiar frustrations of motherhood with screwball comedy. While parts of it are derivative, the film is populated with likeable actors and manages to avoid the preachy pitfalls of many Christian movies. In fact, the most sermon-like speech in the film comes from an enormous biker dude (played by Trace Adkins) who works at a tattoo parlor.

Sarah Drew plays Allyson, and she is pretty much adorable. Sean Astin (Sam from The Lord of the Rings) plays her loving and sympathetic husband. Patricia Heaton plays the pastor’s wife, who is also mom to a teenager, and her comic ability shines. There is also a fun turn from Christian rapper Manwell Reyes of Group 1 Crew, playing the blissed-out receptionist at the tattoo parlor.

Some moments fall back on the irritating caricature of men as bumbling and incompetent caretakers of their own children, and Allyson’s problems are those of the privileged—trying to maintain a beautiful house and three lovely, healthy children. However, the lighthearted message of the movie is a good one. It encourages young moms to stop comparing themselves to the perfection they perceive in other women and to bring their focus instead on the person God wants them to be, using their own particular God-given gifts to bless their families.

Moms might enjoy a night out to see this light confection. (Tristar)

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