101 min. | R
This is catharsis for all the tired moms out there, and darn funny at that. It’s a perfect excuse for ladies to get together, perhaps enjoy a glass of wine (or two) beforehand and laugh hysterically. Unlike most comedies, this one’s for them.
Amy (Mila Kunis) is tired of being supermom. Her husband (David Walton) is a deadbeat, and her teenage kids are impossible to please. Her boss doesn’t appreciate her, she doesn’t have time to eat, her dog is sick and she can’t fathom all the ingredients she’s not allowed to use for the PTA bake sale. She’s a mess, and has every right to be.
So she quits the PTA. Quits her job. When she finds out her husband is having an internet affair, she kicks him out. She takes control of her life, and good for her. Friends Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) join in rebelling against a system that demands perfect parents and students, and it’s liberating. Their enemies: uptight PTA moms who demand conformity.
Writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore wrote The Hangover movies, so they know how to deliver laughs. The humor isn’t gross, but it is vulgar, with comfortable candid conversations about male anatomy, hating kids’ baseball, and mom bras. Hahn’s outrageous character gets the biggest laughs, while Kunis is solid and supporting characters have shining moments. The film’s rowdy moments, include a frat-style party with cheap wine, and a grocery store trip that gets very messy. Add in a fun soundtrack and you’re grinning ear-to-ear.
Best of all, it feels honest. At one point Amy shares her favorite mom fantasy: a quiet breakfast by herself with no kids to worry about or husband to tell what he needs to do. Amy, Kiki and Carla don’t shy away from the truth of raising children: They drive you crazy, you usually can’t win, sometimes you think they’re losers or weirdoes, but you love them more than anything in the world.
Bad Moms plays out predictably, and that couldn’t be more fitting. The film is imperfect, just like the moms it depicts.