Moms’ Night Out

Faith 'n' farce

MOMS’ NIGHT OUT (Andrew and John Erwin). 99 minutes. Opens Friday (May 9). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN

God works in mysterious ways, especially in Moms’ Night Out.

The slapstick comedy about an overworked mother whose evening off turns into a zany adventure seems like something from the Judd Apatow factory. It’s actually a Christian movie on the sly, sneaking in the faith before you catch on to the absence of f-bombs and lewd innuendo. If you’re expecting The Hangover, this one comes with a virgin twist.

The Christian agenda here is far more welcoming and less assaultive than previous attempts of its kind. As a movie, Mom’s Night Out has more practical problems than the gentle sermon buried between the lines.

Few characters are relatable or believable, with the exception of Allyson (Sarah Drew, putting in fine work), a mother gasping for air amidst the dialed-up chaos of being a happy homemaker.

Allyson’s ladies’ night starts off charmingly, playing familiar challenges for laughs (a reservation mix-up over the definition of “next Saturday”). That soon disintegrates into an over-the-top, asinine search for a missing baby that’s full of strained, antic gags and uncommonly polite bikers and alcoholics, all of whom are God’s children, because that would be the point.

I was sincerely hoping the whole package would work, but somewhere during the foolishness, I lost faith.

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