It's a Long Old Honeymoon
As a teen I watched "Cheers" almost religiously and always loved Shelley Long as Diane, it's for that reason that I decided to risk watching "Honeymoon with Mom" because I feared it would be bad but it did star Shelley Long. Sadly the risk wasn't worth it as for the most "Honeymoon with Mom" is not a good movie, in fact at times it is excruciatingly bad with just a few fleeting moments where it actually comes good. But to be honest with the daft premice of a career driven mother going on honeymoon with her jilted at the altar daughter I wasn't expecting much other than some comedy, some romance and some reconciliation all smothered in sugar and that is what I got.
After being left standing at the altar by her fiance Jack (Edward Finlay), Shannon Bates (Virginia Williams) and her mother Marla (Shelley Long) decide to go on the honeymoon anyway. But whilst Shannon thinks they are going to do some mother daughter bonding and to help her put her wedding disaster behind her Marla has other plans. As editor of a gossip magazine she plans to secretly interview reclusive resort owner Nick Tercel (Jack Scalia) who was once an astronaut for a cover story.
Right from the start I struggled with "Honeymoon with Mom" because we enter the movie just after Shannon has been left standing at the altar, she is upset and with her mother on the steps of the church. It's such a forced and unfunny scene that you immediately question whether you should carry on and to be honest what immediately follows which actually is Shannon being left at the altar does little more to convince you to carry on. I know this is a comedy surrounding a daft premice but the way it eventually leads into Shannon and her mother jetting off on honeymoon together is so messy that any hope of being a good comedy are quickly left by the wayside.
Now as to the main story well this is a movie all about reconciliation and romance which is nothing more than you expect. The reconciliation comes from career focussed and initially shallow Marla realising that she is quite selfish whilst Shannon also realises that her mother has been protecting her from the truth about her father and why he left when she was just a small child. And then there is the romance with Shannon hitting it off with hotel worker Adam whilst Marla hits it off with Nick who owns the island paradise. Of course romance isn't straight forwards, it never is, and from Marla's nefarious plans to secretly interview Nick for the magazine she runs through to Shannon's ex showing up there is various typical issues.
The trouble with "Honeymoon with Mom" is that frankly it isn't romantic and not that funny either. So may of the jokes fall on the wayside doing little more than make you cringe and sadly the reliance on Shelley Long to be comically pushy and self centred only makes you feel uncomfortable. Ironically despite a lot of sugar coating to accompany the faltering humour it is a couple of tender moments which actually come off. For example when the issue of Shannon's father raises its ugly head, the sense of remorse and fear which Shelley Long delivers is good, it's even believable but these moments are few and far between.
Other than Shelley Long well to be frank the rest of the cast and characters are forget ably generic even Virginia Williams as Shannon, because she is basically cute and nice but little more than that. But whilst they're all a bunch of stereotypes there isn't a bad performance or at least a terrible one and both Jack Scalia and Eric Johnson do a nice job of playing nice guys whilst Edward Finlay plays the jerk.
What this all boils down to is that "Honeymoon with Mom" was not only the weak comedy I expected but also quite disappointing. It does have a couple of positives but they are vastly out numbered by a lot of negatives.