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Dan's Review: "Bad Moms" not that bad

Jul 30, 2016 12:40AM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Kathryn Hahn in Bad Moms - © 2016 STX Productions

Bad Moms (STX Entertainment/H.R. Brothers)

Rated R for sexual material, full frontal nudity, language throughout, and drug and alcohol content.

Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo, Jay Hernandez, Lilly Singh, Oona Laurence, Emjay Anthony, Billy Slaughter, Wendell Pierce, David Walton, Megan Ferguson, Wanda Sykes, Clark Duke.

Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.

GRADE: B+

REVIEW:

Being a father has its set of challenges, but I know it’s nowhere near the burden mothers have to bear. My dear wife often reminds me of this fact, and even though I often try to compensate for the imbalance in nurturing the children and taking care of the home, I know I will never, ever feel the same stress she does, nor will I ever even the score. The stress of motherhood and the unrealistic expectations of society are the core conflicts at the center of Bad Moms.

It’s the story of Amy (Mila Kunis), a working mother of two whose husband Mike (David Walton) is pretty much useless when it comes to any responsibility around the home. Dealing with her job and trying to keep up with the other PTA moms takes its toll on Amy, who finally snaps when she discovers that Mike is cheating on her via “friend” on the Internet and the local PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) never loses a chance to shame her shortcomings as a mother. Amy takes a stand against Gwendolyn reign of terror and decides to quit trying to be the perfect mother. She finds two comrades in Kiki (Kristen Bell), a mother of four who has no friends and is uber-subservient to her husband - and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) crass divorcee who likes to play the field. The trio decides to party on and leave the perfection to Gwendolyn and her toadies (Jada Pinkett-Smith and Annie Mumolo). Everything goes along just fine until Gwendolyn makes it her mission to destroy Amy and her children’s future for daring to stand up to her authority. Amy decides to run for PTA president, but Gwendolyn has a few tricks up her sleeve that threaten Amy and her family even more.

Bad Moms is often funny (although through a very raunchy brand of humor that earns the film solid R-rating), and sometimes poignant, especially when it comes to smashing societal archetypes of the “perfect” mother. The cast shares some chemistry and the dialogue works most of the time.

Kunis is perfectly matched to play a frustrated young mother, and is right at home in a comedic leading role (hint: stay away from stinkers like Jupiter Ascending, Mila). Kathryn Hahn gets most of the laughs, while Kristin Bell does most of the physical comedy.

There are some jokes that work and some that don’t, but Bad Moms isn’t all that bad, and should appeal to most people, especially if you’re a mom who needs to give her self a break.

*Note: It’s worth a few minutes to stick around for the end credits, as the principal actors sit down with their real moms for a few laughs and tears.

 

Bad Moms Trailer

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