• by Wes Singleton

Review: Mother's Day, C-

Rated PG-13, 118 minutes

I will fully admit to infatuations with both Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts, which is the only reason why I came out to see the stale, forgettable new romantic comedy from Garry Marshall, "Mother's Day," his latest of all-star soap operas after "Valentine's Day" and "New Year's Eve," not to mention Roberts' red wig will certainly remind you of her first huge hit, "Pretty Woman." Sandy (Aniston) is a divorced mother of two boys whose ex-husband (Timothy Olyphant) has recently remarried a younger woman. Miranda (Roberts) is an accomplished media personality who gave up her only child, Kristin (Britt Robertson) for adoption at birth. But as Kristin prepares for marriage and parenting herself, she contemplates the missing part in her life and is encouraged by her friend, Jesse (Kate Hudson), to find her real mother. Meanwhile, Jesse, who never sees her mother, is surprised by her parents when they come to visit and must deal with the secrets she has been harboring. Your Mom deserves a fresh bouquet of lovely flowers on Mother's Day, but she doesn't deserve the year's most unoriginal, predictable and overlong rom com in "Mother's Day," a movie so cookie cutter, bland and unrealistic you'll be able to tell what happens a few miles before it comes along. Ironically, Marshall's latest all-star chapter of "As the World Turns" has something in common with those awful Burt Reynolds' movies of the late '70's and early '80's: the blooper reel is the best part of the movie, because otherwise you won't care about another tale of pretty people and their problems that seems as dusty and fake as the hooker wig that Roberts sports throughout the movie, maybe trying in vain to gather some charm of "Pretty Woman," which is sorely needed here. Aside from Roberts and Hudson, some Marshall's usual suspects appear, including Marshall film stalwart Hector Elizondo, but the film's most charming parts are the comedic ones, and a couple of funny, talented ladies in the always likable Margo Martindale as Hudson's bigoted mother and comedian Loni Love as a friend/sidekick get in the best lines and scenes - "I put on a bra for this?" quips Martindale - you may feel the same after seeing the movie, though I also enjoyed seeing "SNL" vet Jon Lovitz in a tiny role as a comedy club owner. I admit, there are a few reflex laughs, but they're all too brief, and the whole intertwining stories thing is an overused gimmick by now. I still love Roberts and Aniston, but they should say no next time Marshall calls them for another of these holiday-named movies, and you should say no too. Treat your mother to something much more memorable on her special day than "Mother's Day" the movie.

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