It starts out as Toni Collette a mother to four little boys and plays the character of Kate is “mommed out” by all the play dates, school meetings, and coffee gatherings. She has her own ways to cope with the stresses of motherhood. She is at odds with Bridget Everett who plays Melanie a volunteer “traffic safety person” at her children's pre-school who is the quintessentially PERFECT MOM but as we learn she likes to let loose with a nice scotch! The two end up at the same “fun mom dinner,” initially the tensions run high but as the casual dinner turns into a wild night out, Melanie realizes she and Kate may not be so different after all.
Katie Aselton plays Emily a lawyer turned stay-at-home-mom who is new to town and new to the pre-school community feels her marriage to Tom lacks passion and wishes he was more like “Jake Ryan” from Sixteen Candles. Although Emily is good friends with Kate (Toni Collette), she doesn’t have many other mom-friends and is excited at the chance to meet other women at a “fun mom dinner.” Also at the dinner is Molly Shannon(Jamie) a recently divorced, single mom who has shared custody of her daughter Lexi. Jamie is beginning to enjoy her alone time and is very active on social media. She has also started to think about dating again. As the night progresses, the moms make their way through a restaurant, a Walgreens, a marijuana dispensary, and a karaoke bar, where things get even crazier when Emily meets a charming bartender.
It was really fun getting to chat with these four women- who basically are just like us- and deal with all the mom pressure too. This particular exchange REALLY hit home for me!
This is the theme of the movie “Fun Mom Dinner” which can be seen August 4th in select theaters and On Demand, find it on iTunes
Keep reading for some deets about this film and a little bit of the conversation I had with its stars and writers and directors at a press junket I attended thanks to Momentum pictures!
Ms. Molly Shannon: I had a mom send me an e-mail. It was, like, a group e-mail to all the moms where it was like, “Ladies, I just need you to do this little thing for this project at school. I just need you to take a piece of paper and cut it into a circle, and then cut a triangle and put that into an envelope.” And then it was like this long, detailed email that I thought was so funny. I was like, “How can they send this?”
We're so busy that you don't need those kind of e-mails. But I thought it was so funny that I forwarded it to people like, “Can you believe this?” This makes me want to drink a martini and, like, it gives me a headache. And how dare she send this out and ask us to do all this cutting?
Ms. Katie Aselton: I also don't remember our parents doing any of that crap, right?
Ms. Toni Collette: No, it's changed a lot.
Ms. Katie Aselton: Like, none of that. Why are we being asked to do so much as parents? Like, it's crazy.
A little bit of background on the main players in the movie starting with Toni Collette whose many other movies have included Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine; Norman Jewison’s telefilm Dinner with Friends; Roger Michell’s Changing Lanes). When asked why she took the role of Kate- her response was EVERYTHING …
“I got the script and Bridget was attached, but I was unfamiliar with her work. So, I thought I'll just take a peek, and then I couldn't stop reading it. So, I loved it and immediately wanted to do it.
But then I looked at a link to Bridget in her prime on YouTube, and I was so blown away. I was sitting in a hotel room by myself, like, with tears running down my face laughing my ass off.
And I was just so excited because it was fun. It's gleeful. And I wanted to have this experience with other women and show real women having a good time in the world, you know, not some handbag to some guy. It's their story.
And working together exceeded any expectation I could have had. It was so much fun. We shot all nights because it's a movie about dinner, not about brunch. And even though it was a little exhausting, it really was such a highlight.”
Speaking of Bridget Everett – she is a world-renowned cabaret artist. She was named “the most exciting performer in New York City” on the cover of the Village Voice, and called “raw and riotous” by The New York Times and although she is not a mom in real life- she plays the HECK OUT OF ONE in this film!
Katie Aselton seen as Jenny in the FXX comedy show The League HBO’s Animals, HBO’s Togetherness, and Hulu’s Casual. During the junket when asked which of these four moms she really identified with she said KATE and she shared a funny intimate piece of her real life as a mom ( which TOTALLY resonated with me)!
“I feel like that mom, where I'm just, like, “I'm good. I don't need more mom friends. I like my friends. I don't need to be friends with you because you're a mom.”
But, I've got two kids, and I feel like I really overextended myself when the first one was in preschool And I got to know every mom and I got to know all their kids and I got to know their husbands. And we went out for wine and we did the thing, and I was a room parent.
And then by the time the second kid went to preschool, I was like, “Uh-uh,” 'cause you know why? In a couple years, I'm never going to see you guys again. We go to separate schools. And, yes, this is a very intense experience for all of us, but, it only lasts for three years. I need to invest in, the next school when we're in it for a long time. So no, I'm not going on that wine night and your camping trip and, this and that. I'm good. ”
She also remarked about how much she loves about going out with her mom friends, “It is so fun. It's even like when you just have the occasional night out with your friends, every time you finish it, you’re like, Why don’t we do this more often? This is so fun.”
Molly Shannon who plays Jamie has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents on television and the silver screen. Shannon spent six seasons as a member of “Saturday Night Live”. During our press junket when asked about going out without her kids she had this to say.
“So, yes, I would say it's important to take care of yourself and give yourself a break, and do nice things for yourself, because then you can go back and be a better mother because you have balance. My husband and I went away for the weekend, and we were in Palm Springs. And we ordered breakfast and, you know, chilaquiles. And we were just sitting in bed talking uninterrupted. And we were like, “Oh, my God, we haven't done this for so long.” It was, like, so many hours just to eat and talk and–.” AND OMG How I could relate and thought- I need to be eating in bed more often!
Fun Mom Dinner is the first screenplay for writer Julie Rudd. The film started with an idea she had – to tell a story about moms and the unique and rich friendships they share. The notion sprang partly from her own experiences and those of her friends, as well as funny observations from the world of being a full-time mom raising two kids and married to Paul Rudd who is also in the film. She adds about the reference to “16 Candles” ”the talk of the John Hughes movies, in a way, is like that touchstone to sort of who they were when they were younger and how their ideas of romance were formed.
Also in the film are Adam Levine, Adam Scott, Ron Huebel, and Paul Rust
Australian comedy director, writer, actor, choreographer, Alethea Jones directs the film and when asked about one of the scenes “ It was super fun. Like, it was fun having an ensemble of really sharp, spunky kids come in and play. I like playing with blocking and moving people around, so that was actually a lot of fun.”
So which mom are you? Take the quiz
If you want to see a movie that will make you laugh and think about going out like you used to and not thinking about getting up and making lunches, then see” Fun Mom Dinner” which can be seen August 4th in select theaters and On Demand, find it on iTunes
*My travel to attend the junket was compensated but all opinions expressed are my own*