What “Love Actually” did for Christmas, director Garry Marshall has been attempting — and failing — to do with every holiday on the calendar.

After blanking with “Valentine’s Day” (2010) and “New Year’s Eve” (2011), Marshall scrapes the bottom of the barrel in his third entry in his Holiday Hell trilogy with the agonizing “Mother’s Day,” an early front-runner for worst movie of the year.

Following the same template as the others, Marshall (working from a script credited to four screenwriters) tosses a handful of storylines together and attempts to tie them together using the pat sentimentality of Mother’s Day.

There’s Jennifer Aniston, whose ex-husband (a smarm-dripping Timothy Olyphant) gets remarried to a much younger woman; Kate Hudson, who is keeping a huge secret from her estranged mother; Julia Roberts, who plays a career-driven home shopping guru; and Jason Sudeikis as a recently widowed father raising his two daughters.

All exist in a loosely connected Atlanta, where side plots involve the city’s worst stand-up comedian, an advice-dispensing party clown, a dwarf bar owner and a pair of racist Texas caricatures seemingly plucked out of a Jeff Foxworthy sketch. It’s an embarrassment for everyone involved, and that’s well before Sudeikis breaks his leg while doing karaoke to “The Humpty Dance” (seriously, don’t ask).

The characters’ eventual ties are all telegraphed very early on, the only surprises are how much dreck viewers are asked to choke down before they’re revealed.

“Mother’s Day” is not a tribute to mothers. It’s an insult to everyone.

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‘Mother’s Day’


Rated PG-13: for language and some suggestive material

Running time: 118 minutes

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