In Roger Ebert’s glowing review of Bridesmaids, he mentions that “[The Film] definitively proves that women are the equal of men in vulgarity, sexual frankness, lust, vulnerability, overdrinking, and insecurity,” and Bad Moms reminds me of this (Ebert). The film is a fantastic romp that doesn’t disparage mothers at all. Just the opposite in fact. The film is a hilarious comedy that evokes the best works of modern comedic masterminds Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips.
The film revolves around three moms, Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) who through serendipity meet at a bar after a particularly disastrous day for Amy. The ladies agree that they are overworked moms who are sick of going through the exhausting motions like our antagonists: The Perfect Moms who run the PTA. They instead decide to buck the forced societal norms and live it up a little. In doing so, they draw the ire of the leader of the Perfect Moms and PTA, Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate), who decides to personally ruin Amy’s kids’ lives. It’s then up to Amy and Co. to defeat Gwendolyn and her cronies in the PTA election and restore her kids’ lives.
The film wouldn’t work if it wasn’t funny and but it is. In Ebert's review of Bridesmaids, he compared it to Todd Phillips’ The Hangover (Ebert). Bad Moms is more like Phillips’ Old School: it revolves around three people who have had an arrested development and long to relive a period of their youth that has passed them by. They decide to flout normal societal conventions (too much hilarity) despite the massive responsibilities of being an adult and in this case a mother. The film revels in female empowerment and there are very few men in the film. The ones that are present are either children, abusive, absent, stupid, cheaters, or uncaring figures of authority. The one lone handsome stallion is a widower played by Jay Hernandez and he’s perfect in every way. There’s no middle ground of normal guys attending PTA meetings or any other dad’s of any sort really, but that's a small quibble.
Bad Moms wouldn’t work if the cast didn’t have chemistry, but thankfully the casting of this film is absolutely sublime. Our trio of Moms is led and anchored by Ashton Kutcher’s better half, Mila Kunis. Kunis portrays Amy Mitchell, an extremely overworked mom and the comedic straight woman (and normal soccer mom audience surrogate) of our trio of moms. Mila Kunis does a good job anchoring the trio as an exasperated working mom finally being able to cut loose and live it up. Kristen Bell plays Kiki, a delightfully weird, quirky stay at home mom with spousal problems and tons of kids. Kathryn Hahn rounds out the trio as Carla, a wild, overly promiscuous mom who isn’t afraid to push boundaries or limits. Our antagonists are cast just as flawlessly. Led by Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate), the picture perfect Mom and leader of the PTA, and her two stooges, Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo), they seem like The Plastics from Mean Girls all grown up.
Bad Moms doesn’t forget that moms are people too. Despite doing tons for us including literally giving us life, many take our mothers for granted. That might be the biggest takeaway from the movie. The film is a good reminder that despite the incredible responsibility of raising human beings, moms like and perhaps need to have a good time just like the rest of us. That doesn’t mean they love their children any less, but they need some time for themselves too.The film even has interviews with the main cast’s mothers after the credits role, telling their own hilarious anecdotes. The film tends to meander a bit but that doesn’t detract from a very funny and satisfying summer comedy.
TLDR: Bad Moms is an expertly cast, funny comedy that shows what can happen when moms decide to live life to the fullest. 4/5 Stars.
Ebert, Roger. "Bridesmaids." www.rogerebert.com. Ebert Digital LLC, 11 May 2011. Web. Aug. 2016.