Ladies, unite! Moms come in all shapes and sizes — and 2016’s Mother’s Day captured all the highs and lows that are associated with parenthood.
The movie focuses on stories of several different moms, including divorcee Sandy (Jennifer Aniston), who finds herself splitting time with her ex’s new wife, Tina (Shay Mitchell), on the special holiday. Sisters Jesse (Kate Hudson) and Gabi (Sarah Chalke), for their part, don’t speak with their mother because of her controversial take on their respective relationships.
Miranda (Julia Roberts), meanwhile, gave up her daughter, Kristin (Britt Robertson), for adoption. Their lack of a relationship has continued to influence the type of mother Kristin wants to be — and whether she wants to get married to her baby daddy.
Hollywood great Gary Marshall found success directing 2010’s Valentine’s Day and 2011’s New Year’s Eve, but Mother’s Day took his holiday films to the next level. Not only did he direct the mom-focused movie, but he also produced it and wrote the script.
Mother’s Day was Marshall’s final project before his death in July 2016 at age 81. While the cast didn’t know it would be his last movie, all of them pointed to the legendary filmmaker’s clout as the reason the signed on.
“It was so much fun. Fantastic cast,” Hudson said during an April 2016 appearance on the Today show. “It’s Gary! Nobody says no to Gary Marshall.”
Aniston agreed during a sit-down with Front Row Features that same month. “Garry Marshall was the reason I think most of us said ‘yes’ to this movie,” she explained at the time. “Because since I was a kid [we all watched Marshall’s work on] Happy Days or The Odd Couple or Laverne & Shirley.”
The Morning Show actress continued: “So kind of without even reading a script I think we said, ‘Yep.’ He really does a beautiful job on touching on all of the different scenarios of what the family unit looks like today and I think it’s quite lovely.”
The Friends: The Reunion star also gushed over her castmates during an on-set interview published in April 2016. She called Timothy Olyphant, who played her onscreen ex-husband, Henry, a “gentlemen” who had “charisma and wonderful energy.”
Aniston’s character, Sandy, eventually gets her own love story with Bradley, played by Jason Sudeikis, whom she’s worked with on multiple occasions. “We should just continue off into the sunset at the rate we’ve been doing movies together,” the actress joked while describing her chemistry with Sudeikis. “Which makes it quite comfortable and fun and familiar in all the best ways.”
The Horrible Bosses star later sang Roberts’ praises while at the film’s Los Angeles premiere in April 2016.
“It was incredible. It was not enough. We only had a day together,” Aniston told Access Hollywood at the time. “She’s such a beautiful, professional, funny, wonderful human. It was everything you would expect and a little bit more.”
Roberts returned the favor, telling the outlet that Aniston is “an incredible person. Her career is outstanding. She knows what she’s doing.”
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