Bad Moms, 2016
Directed by: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Jay Hernandez, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Christina Applegate
Bad Moms is an American comedy about three mothers (I am British so for the duration of this review, and that of its sequel, I’ll be referring to them as mothers and not moms) who, fed up with all the trails that motherhood offers (work, school, school activities, PTA meetings, relationships, useless/absent fathers), decide to scrap off being good mothers and decide to be bad. Our three mothers are Amy (Mila Kunis), the main character who is going through a break up with her husband, Carla (Kathryn Hahn), a single mother of a teenager and a bit of a party-girl, and Kiki (Kristen Bell), the crazy one of the group, with a husband who barely helps with their four children.
The main plot of the film (aside from the trio uniting and ditching their good mother personas) surrounds Amy and Gwendolyn’s (Christina Applegate) rivalry, which comes after Amy refuses to abide by the PTS’s rules due to her tiredness, it then escalates to Amy vying for Gwendolyn’s head-of-PTS role. Not much of a plot, but it’s an American comedy so what do you expect.
One thing I didn’t like about this film is the sheer amount of ‘it’s so hard being a mother’ promos the characters make: Amy’s introduction, Amy quitting the PTA, Amy and her friends moaning, Amy’s PTA party, Amy’s PTA speech (yeah, Amy moans about being a mother quite a lot). The film doesn’t have a large running time so these promos do come shortly after the previous ones and that lessens their effect somewhat. I also didn’t like the amount of montages with pop songs overhead. There’s a hilarious one with the supermarket (after they’ve gotten drunk amid the initial ‘we’re bad mothers’ speech), but there are quite a large amount of montages throughout the film and it seems like quite a lazy thing to do after a while.
The characters are also pretty stereotypical (crazy girl, hard/party girl and sensible girl) and the jokes are pretty easy at times, but, all that being said, I still found this film really funny. It’s never going to win any Oscars but it’s silly and funny from start to finish. Despite the three characters being very stereotypical, they have a nice friendship and chemistry, and the three actors all help bring their characters to life. Kathryn Hahn is hilarious as the vulgar, borderline-alcoholic motherhood-hating mother, Kristen Bell has a sweetness to her quirkiness and I love Mila Kunis so I’m never going to have a bad word to say about her (but let’s just say her character is the third best character in this film. That doesn’t mean she’s the worst, just third best of three).
And, as previously noted, it is funny from start to finish. One thing that Going in Style suffered from was a second-half blip of comedy, as do many other comedies, where the plot seems to take over, in this film’s case the plot is nicely integrated with the comedy (even if the plot is very, very thin). An entertaining film, but not a flawless film by any means. Stereotypical characters that are well acted, decent writing for the jokes but poor for the continuous use of bad mother speeches and funny montages, if one too many.
And it stars Mila Kunis, which is always a bonus. 🙂
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