To be honest, I had zero interest in seeing this film. The trailer promised little insight into the muffin top/underbelly of motherhood and wasn't particularly funny. Plus the only night that worked with our collective post holiday/back to school angst was a Monday - so NO, not worth the popcorn bloat.
I went anyway and I WAS SO WRONG.
Bad Moms is ridiculous and ridiculously FUNNY. Do what you must to get your husband to watch the kids & drag yourself to the theatre - you will laugh and laugh. Amy (Mila Kunis) has an utterly self-absorbed husband, boss and kids; she's the family sponge - doing everything but breathe for them. Floundering from breakfast to school run to work to dinner, she’s failing, not because she’s not trying, but because motherhood has morphed into a mammary strewn Tough Mudder course - whose finishing line goodie bag is just another lunch bag or diaper bag - or God forbid - diaper genie bag! (interesting name that…. for a race aimed predominantly at guys). So far so familiar.
But here’s the rub, the antagonist does not reveal itself to be “the Man” - but “the Mom," or rather the new invisible rules of motherhood where every morsel, deed and word are up for public inspection, commentary and persecution. This Mom, Gwendolyn, or rather Mean Girl Regina all grown up, is exquisitely personified by Christina Applegate to dominatrix PTA perfection. It is she against whom Amy rebels, joined by Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn).
Kunis, with her always slightly surprised cute bush baby face, is good, but the sidekicks steal the show for me. Bell, whose fantasy of being stuck in a hospital for a week is one I share, is a spineless mop, oppressed by a slew of toddlers and the lamest controlling husband. Her reaction during the "uncircumcised tutorial" scene is making me laugh again right now. And Kathryn Hahn, ribald and raunchy, is just crying laughing funny. I had a friend like this - everyone needs a friend like this. The film demands a rewatch just to catch her lines.
So, the girls do all the things Moms do in the name of rebellion - get drunk, not make lunch, get drunk, wreak havoc in the supermarket, get drunk, bring store-bought doughnuts to the bake sale. They battle the Good Moms and (spoiler alert), of course, prevail, and, of course, the Good Moms want to be Bad Moms occasionally too… How fab if someday happily ever after was a land populated by Good Enough Moms!
Surprisingly this film, an almost Grazia-like article on universal Mom fears, is written and directed by two men, Scott Moore and Jon Lucas of Hangover fame. Well done Scott and Jon! Who are your lucky wives?
Bad Moms is a funny film so put on some mom jeans and go see it. I promise you will laugh. And laughter, as someone said, is the best medicine. Especially for motherhood.
Disclosure: I arrived at the restaurant before my cohort Good Enough Moms - a never occurrence — and ordered a martini. Then a large merlot during the film.
Laughter may be the best medicine, but the liver works in mysterious ways.