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Faith, Media & Culture

Faith, Media & Culture

After the controversy over “October Baby”, the Erwin Brothers take on comedy with “Moms’ Night Out”

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Jon and Andy lighten up. After dealing with the subject of abortion survivors (as in children who actually survive attempted abortions) in their enlightening hit October Baby, the brothers Erwin have turned to comedy for their follow-up co-directing effort. I had the opportunity to speak with Andy Erwin on the Birmingham, Alabama set of Moms’ Night Out.

JWK: Moms’ Night Out is quite a shift in gears from October Baby.

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ANDY ERWIN: It’s kind of a breath of fresh air. October Baby was definitely a heavy drama. When we were looking for our second film, we were looking through story lines. We didn’t intend to tell a comedy. (Moms’ Night Out) has a great heart and it captured us. It’s such a breath of fresh air to switch to doing light and lighthearted and where we can laugh a lot on the set.  So, we just felt like it was summer camp. We were all just laughing a lot and cutting up.

JWK: There is a message in the film pertaining to appreciating what mothers do. Is it hard to have a message in a comedy as opposed to a drama?

AE: No, it was easier. I think it allows you to have some levity to it. It doesn’t feel as heavy-handed as it explores some really human topics and to do it in a way that it doesn’t feel intimidating to the audience. If you can laugh at something it takes away the fear of that and I think, hopefully, this will have a great appeal to the audience as well — that as Christians, we’re able to put out some thoughts about family values and just the beauty of motherhood but in a way that, hopefully, engages the audience because it’s done with laughter.

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JWK: It’s definitely not as controversial as October Baby.

AE: No, it’s definitely not controversial…Whether you’re a Christian or not, most of us are parents and there are a lot of relatable things about just how hard it is to be a parent and also the tremendous value of parenthood in general. It’s, in essence, an everything-goes-wrong type comedy. I think it’s a fun, enjoyable journey that hopefully people will (like). Those are the types of comedies that I like — that (also) have a heartfelt story, that are relatable and believable.
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Moms’ Night Out, starring Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy), Sean Astin, Patricia Heaton, Trace Adkins, Alex Kendrick, Kevin Downes and Robert Amaya is due to hit theaters in 2014.
Note: A line my interview with Sean Astin originally erroneously read “when my sister died.” It should have read “when her sister died” (the “her” referring to his mother Patty Duke). The mistake has since been corrected in the original post. I apologize for the error.

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Trailer Flashback: October Baby (2011)

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Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
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