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'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

MOVIE REVIEW
Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

'Moms' Night Out': Made for Women, but Men will Like it too

The cast of Moms' Night Out (Sony/Provident Films)
The new faith-based comedy, Moms’ Night Out, is taking a real beating among critics which is a real shame as this is not only a very well done “Christian” film, but it is also very funny with a storyline that many women can relate to. However, you wouldn’t know by some of the recent reviews of reviewers who were either annoyed or offended by the film’s tame tone. One critic calls it sexist and another says that the moral of the story is to never leave the house or all hell will break loose. Neither is the case of this film – although a lot of “hell” does break loose.

The main character is a stay-at-home mom (gasp!), who has a hard time controlling her children, constantly compares herself to other women and feels bad because she’s not the perfect mom. Yeah. No woman could relate to that. In fact, as of today, Rotten Tomatoes has it at a 17% “rotten” rating among critics but theater-goers gave it a 84% “fresh” rating. It is true that many faith-based films are bad – but this one isn’t one of them.


Andrea Logan White, Sarah Drew and Patricia Heaton.
Moms’ Night Out stars ABC’s Grace Anatomy’s Sarah Drew as the harried housewife, Allyson. The only thing that she wants for herself is to write her own blog, but with everything else in her life, that too is a disappointment. Her husband Sean (Sean Astin) is a traveling businessman who understands that his wife is unhappy, but isn’t sure how to help. On a whim, Allyson decides to plan a “moms’ night out” with her best friend Izzy (Andrea Logan White) and their pastor’s wife Sondra (Patricia Heaton) who looks like she could use a night away as well. The kids will be taken care of by Sean, Izzy’s husband Marco (Robert Amaya) who has a fear of taking care of kids on his own as well as a number of other phobias, and their gamer friend, Kevin (Kevin Downes) who hates kids. What could go wrong? Everything.

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