So I watched Bad Moms…
Remember when you were a child and your teachers (often your parents too) would give you some spiel about ‘applying yourself’ and ‘reaching your full potential’. I finally understand it. Not because I’m overcome my procrastinitic ways and achieved greatness but rather because watching this movie I felt the constant desire to sit it down and ask it if it thought this was truly its best?
Okay, basic plot: Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) is a woman who is spread far too thin. Between getting her kids to school, running around for a boss who doesn’t appreciate her and taking care of her manchild husband, Amy barely has a moment to breathe. This all becomes too much for Amy when she catches her husband cheating. Disillusioned by the idea of being a perfect mom and wife, Amy decides that it’s time for her to have a little fun. She shirks a few responsibilities and decides to be selfish for a change. Along the way she meets Carla (Kathryn Hahn) – a mom who’s no stranger to shirking responsibilities and Kiki (Kristen Bell) – a mom who’s carrying far too many responsibilities. Together the trio go on a rampage, doing all the things that ‘good’ moms aren’t supposed to and partying like a mother…
This film is funny and there is a consistency to the amount with which it makes you laugh; so in that respect, it functions well as a comedy. The problem is that I would have appreciated more intelligence and maturity in its humour. I know that the point of a comedy is to take the mundane and exaggerate it to the point of comedy but I think this film takes it too far. It’s often crass and full of toilet-humour. Now this usually wouldn’t be a problem – in a comedy – but it feels like the film dumbs itself down to be more relatable. It’s like an A-student who suddenly starts getting D’s in order to fit in with the cool kids. Screw the cool kids! Be the best you, you can be and I know Bad Moms could have been better.
I wonder how this film would have differed if it was written by a woman instead of two men. I think there would have been a much better insight into the world of unappreciated, over-worked moms.
Speaking of things that could have been better – Mila Kunis leaves much to be desired. Now this is a silly comedy so nobody’s going to be submitting their performances to The Academy but Kunis completely phones it in. I don’t expect good acting but I do expect some form of commitment to the role. Kunis never feels like she believes she’s the character she’s portraying and this is reflected in the superficiality of her performance. Kathryn Hahn also disappoints but this is due to her poor comedic chops in this role rather than her acting. She just never hits the mark. A person who does hit the mark, dead-centre, in fact, is Kristen Bell as the timid Kiki. Bell brings a competent performance and impressive comedic skills to this role. She’s funny even when her character isn’t necessarily meant to be and I loved her in this role.
The cast is actually very good with names like Jada Pinkett-Smith, Christina Applegate and Wendell Pierce filling up the numbers. Applegate is probably the pick of the supporting cast as Gwendolyn James – the antagonist to Kunis’ agonist. I’ve never seen Applegate play a ‘villain’ before and she does really well. She’s funny and brings sufficient hate factor to the piece. I have the feeling that the actors in this film’s cast are there to have fun and pay homage to the hard work that moms do so I can’t really hold the bevy of average performances this film is saddled with against them.
Overall, I think Bad Moms is an average comedy that could have been much better if its script had the bravery to be more daring and intelligent. It instead relegates itself to crude jokes that while funny constantly remind you that you’re getting a diluted version of this film’s potential best. The cast (besides Kunis and Hahn) do satisfactory work and keep you entertained but the film is forgotten as soon as you change the channel. Worth watching if you’re a mom or looking to kill some time. 7/10