I guess I figured that since I tackled Mom's Night Out a few months back, I ought to find out what mom does on her day away. Until viewing, the details would remain in question, but since this is a Hallmark Channel movie, what you and I are going to get is never in doubt. To that end, this is vintage Hallmark comfort food, cozy, breezy, amusing, and conservatively thoughtful.
Mom Laura Miller (the painfully cute Bonnie Somerville) feels neglected and unappreciated by her teen children and Realtor husband. While they bury their faces in their respective smartphones, expecting everything to be delivered unto them without delay, Laura trudges about in frumpy (but cute) sweatpants. With Mother's Day approaching and nothing changing, Laura decides to abandon ship for a fun weekend with her enviable career-driven friend Trish (Ona Grauer). Will Laura have a transformative weekend? Will her family realize the error of their ways? Will real people watching Mom's Day Away cry bitter tears as they recognize the pile of crap their lives have become since their own non-fairy-tale marriages crashed and burned? The answers probably won't surprise you.
Nonetheless, Somerville really delivers perky, sweet, believable humor in a performance that honors the Hallmark tradition without being cloying. The Miller siblings turn in fine work as well. Iain Belcher provides a truthful turn as son Brandon, who, while mostly used for comic relief, has an engaging subplot as an aspiring musician with a unique guitar-playing style. Similarly, Kaitlyn Bernard brings realism to her text-addicted role as daughter Ella Miller, especially as she relates to her brother. In the end, it is still Somerville's show. She's got great star power.
Mom's Day Away wraps up its simple story of growth with a pretty bow. Fun and funny, it goes down very smoothly, even as it presents a perfect world that for some of us seems so far out of reach. Hallmark provides life-lessons and wish fulfillment with great ease, and this movie is exemplary of the craft. Recommended (even without any extras on the DVD) for romantic suckers, but maybe not for those who wish their lives had turned out a little bit differently.