“Bad Moms,” in 2016, was the latest in a string of movies featuring the word “Bad” in the title: “Bad Santa,” “Bad Teacher,” and so on.
“Bad Moms” in 2016, was the latest of a series of movies with the word “Bad” as the title: “Bad Santa,” and so on. However, these generic titles are reminiscent of the Shop Rite or Walmart versions of Kool-Aid and Pop-Tarts. They’re funny, although they tend to lean more heavily towards the raunch factor.
So, don’t judge a movie by it title. At the time “Bad Mothers” was hilarious. This movie was funny because it featured Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” together. “Bad Moms,” however, is even more hilarious.
Kunis portrays Amy, a mother who is always late. She’s late to get the children to school, late at work, late for PTA meetings and soccer practice. This is something that moms all over the globe can relate to.
Amy has four kids: an entitled boy-child who is a whiny brat, a man-child and a wife-child. Four kids.
Rushing around in her minivan, she looks amazing despite all the spilled coffees and bits of food that end up on moms’ faces. It creates that percolating cloud like Pigpen in “Peanuts .”
She’s a movie star Mila Kunis and she can make this happen. You can immediately recognize her as an archetype and the one who is telling the stories of mothers everywhere. It’s amazing how many times I heard “You Go Girl!” “You go girl!” was heard at the theatres. Mila, who is the “bad mom”, must be admired. She’s a strong mom and tries her best.
But things get to a head – how much Sisyphean lateness caused by superhuman multitasking is one woman willing to take? Especially when badgered to distraction by … the antagonist, the head of the PTA–a “good” mom, Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate). This woman is a Nazi. She and her small group of co-workers are a total scourge. These are the kind of moms that mean-spirited high school girls grow up to become.
At some point Amy is fed up with all the meanness and pressure, so she decides to run as president of the PTA for the “Bad Mom” platform. Are there any backers? “Anybody? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?” Crickets. Everyone wants their piece. The moms all seem to be in denial.
Amy meets some girls and some wisdom begins to emerge. A village is necessary to raise children (Hillary was right about that), and in the past, women were able to gather together to hunt and share their knowledge. We lost our wisdom long before the American nuclear family idea was introduced. This is because grandparents were being placed in old-folks homes to help with the kids, as it had been throughout tribal life. This is why moms are often chronically late. But, you’ll learn more about sociology later.
Amy has a new set of mom friends in Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla [Kathryn Hahn] who play a role that is a career-escalating one of brazen, unabashed hussy humor. This should have made her a movie-star, but not necessarily a perennial character actress.
They go on a Bad Mom Rampage–one the most hilarious scenes in the movie. They go to the supermarket and indulge their bad mamas. You might laugh at their shenanigans.
Cats Out of the Bag
Making an awakening to her talent and stick-up artist self in “Thelma & Louise”, There’s no turning back. To top off this trend, Amy whips the dust cover off her (now separated) hubby’s true darling–a gleaming cherry-red ’69 Dodge Challenger with chromed Cragar mag rims and low-rumble exhaust. With her (now happy, smiling) children, she starts to burn rubber and chirp tires.
And so, somewhere around here is when she goes from “bad” mom to cool mom. The movement begins to spread, and the race for the PTA is on.
Now, taking pride in her laid back attitude and expressing confidence, she advises her son to start cooking his own food. He should also learn how to grow vegetables. He shouldn’t grow a moustache and pretend he is inwardly fascinating, she says.
As mentioned, Hahn’s role is funny; it’s Melissa McCarthy-type; SNL alumni Anna Gasteyer, Molly Shannon, and Molly Shannon can also slam-dunk. However, this role is an excellent example of the importance of playing the right part at the right moment. Kristen Bell is great, as well as David Walton, Amy’s man-child husband.
However, Kunis is the star of the entire movie. You can see her impart every smidgen truthfully and look amazing. She also teaches the women. You can also watch her give a hilarious bad mom stump speech.
It’s all about the collective cast-chemistry. It is obvious that the directors were having a lot of fun and able to tap into the rhythms and timings of the group. The comedy began cooking.
“Bad Mothers” focuses on the (largely American-based) need for women in society to attend a women’s weekend. This is where they can rediscover sisterhood and not judge each other over how they raise their children. It’s hard to raise children properly with the proliferation of cell phones, which is frequently mentioned in “Bad Moms”. Now, children are bombarded with choices about whether or not they should move. It’s impossible.
And men need to do a men’s weekend where men learn to balance their warrior-lover-magician-king quadrants and learn how to not be the worthless wretches women often (and often rightfully) see them as. Bad Dads are Bad Husbands, and Bad Moms are Bad Dads. We’ll find peace when masculine and female are fully balanced and completely polarized again. Children who are responsible. Do it. Go do it now. It takes a village.
Okay, enough sociology.
Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo, Oona Laurence, Jay Hernandez, David Walton
Running Time: 1 hours, 41 minutes
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Rated 3.5 stars out of 5