For as much as Ghostbusters was being talked about as being the big movie of the summer for women, Bad Moms seems to be more of a movie where women really stand out.
Amy (Mila Kunis) is the prototypical overworked modern mother. She has two children, a layabout husband (David Walton), and a part time job that’s turned into a full time job working with a bunch of insufferable millennials. When she catches her husband cheating on her with a live woman online, she kicks him out of the house. She’s wracked with doubt about her parenting abilities and overwhelmed by the amount of responsibilities that she and her children have. After kicking her husband out, she is called into a PTA meeting by Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate). Gwen runs the PTA with her posse of mean girls Vicky (Annie Mumolo) and Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith). When Amy comes into the meeting to hear a ridiculous set of announcements about a bake sale, she decides to tap out and quit the PTA. She heads to a bar and meets up with party-girl and seemingly reluctant mother, Carla (Kathryn Hahn), and uptight, neurotic stay-at-home mother Kiki (Kristen Bell). During an impromptu night of a lot of drinking, they decide that they’re going to quite overworking themselves and be “bad moms”. They also decide to drunkenly run amok through a grocery store.
After they recover from their hangovers, the moms decide to take the pressure off of themselves and their kids. They start letting them miss activities, taking time for themselves, and trying to enjoy life more. Hilarity ensues as the moms and the kids get more and more out of control. This does not sit well with Gwen, who makes it her mission to bring down Amy and her anti-establishment friends. When Gwen comes after Amy, she decides to take her on by running for PTA president. At first, Gwen doesn’t take the threat seriously but she changes her tune when moms start to leave her boring, Martha Stewart catered party to go to Amy’s house party fueled by crappy wine.
Eventually, this freewheeling lifestyle and Gwen’s ire start to have a negative effect on Amy and, more importantly, her kids. At her lowest point Amy’s kids leave to go live with their dad, she gets fired from her job, and she finds herself home alone watching 12 Years A Slave. Her friends quickly come to her rescue and convince her to pick up and defeat Gwen. After a heartfelt speech about how moms should be accepted for trying their best and not being perfect, Amy wins the election. Her kids come back to her and she sees that her new outlook on life has started to improve their lives as well.
What did I think?
This movie is an outstanding example of a female comedic ensemble. The comedic performances are on par with something like Bridesmaids. It feels like there is a lot of improvised comedy in this movie and the leads really nail the scenes where they look like they’re just playing around. The scenes in the supermarket, the bar, and the house party really stand out to me. Especially because two of those scenes don’t even really have dialogue. It’s just Hahn, Kunis and Bell using their physicality to make the scenes.
Katheryn Hahn is completely out of control in the best possible way and she’s countered perfectly by Kristen Bell’s sheltered character. Applegate and Kunis do a great job at playing more straight-line characters while still contributing to the humor of the movie. There’s also a surprisingly strong cast of supporting characters in this movie. Comedic actors like Clark Duke and Wendell Pierce really help fill out the movie and Pinkett-Smith and Mumolo are what allow Applegate to be funny. I don’t want to really go into the specific jokes that were made in the movie, because they’re worth watching for yourself if you haven’t.
This movie does downshift on the comedy towards the back half of the movie. It hits a point where it feels like every 15 minutes or so, there’s another speech about parenting or motherhood or something like that. It is ironic given that a recurring joke about Applegate’s character is her long boring speeches. Even though the movie gets a little preach-y, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing for this movie.
Bad Moms is clearly meant to offer some catharsis for women who can relate to the struggle of being a parent. Mother’s are elevated and men are treated as either obstacles, fragile idiots or sexy ideals. There’s even an interview at the end of the movie with the mother’s of all the lead actresses reminiscing with their daughters about motherhood. It’s a very funny, very relatable movie that would be the perfect thing for a mom to take a break and watch. Just, make sure you leave the kids at home.
Bad Moms (2016)
- The movie is pure catharsis for mothers (or single parents)
- Katheryn Hahn and Kristen Bell are over the top and great in this movie
- Great improvised comedy
- Kunis and Applegate are also great with their
- Comedy is great, but the actual plot line is bland
- The movie gets a little speech heavy in its back half