“Bad Moms ” (2016)
Running Time: 100 minutes
Director: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Featuring: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Momolo
Amy: “We all work too damn hard trying to make our kids’ lives amazing and magical. Their lives already are amazing and magical. Let’s be bad moms!”
The new film “Bad Moms” (2016) has been written and directed by people from Todd Phillips stable of creatives, in case you are wondering that is the guy that directed the now classic (tongue firmly in cheek) “Hangover Trilogy” (2009 – 2013). I would normally say that this was enough of a clue to decide whether you should see this film or not. But we do need to weigh a few things up.
I can imagine that this film was put together to cash in on the post “Bridesmaids” (2011) world we now inhabit, where executives have finally seen a mostly untapped demographic, the female led comedy film that appeals to a possible audience that makes up over fifty percent of the Earths population. That’s not to say that this film led by some incredible comic talents is not good, its just not up to a “Bridesmaids” quality, that being said its not up to a lot of the female centered comedies of the past few years, “The Heat” (2013), pretty much any Melissa McCarthy film or any Kristen Wiig comedy.
The story is scatter shot at best, and follows a pretty simple plot that centers on the absolutely charming and funny Mila Kunis, who plays Amy mother of two and wife to a husband that is terminally unfaithful. Amy meets two other Moms who have their own issues, Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn). It seems that Amy is suffering from being too busy and trying to have it all, be a wife, mother, career woman and friend, but it is getting on top of her and she has a kind of break down at an emergency PTA meeting. From there we see her behaving like a bad mom, but not really, in fact she never really becomes the bad mom of the title – which is a little confusing, but never the less the film moves on.
In any other film Bell or Hahn could be the leads but wiser heads have supplied Kunis with reliably funny talent and two actresses that can deliver the kind of dialogue that is supplied with their eyes closed. Their main antagonist is Gwendolyn (Christian Applegate) who is the leader of a three headed serpent, made up of Vicky (Annie Mumolo) and Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) who follow her every move and basically serve as the mean girls of the film. The talent in this film is huge and the cast is rounded out by Clark Duke, Wendall Pierce, Wanda Sykes and Jay Hernandez (Diablo from this months “Suicide Squad”).
Whilst the three main characters are given most of the screen time, I can’t help but wonder what could have been with a better script that didn’t completely underserve Applegate, Pinket Smith and Mumolo who deserve much better than what they have been given or at least with the story that has been made around them. Unlike the earlier “Bridesmaids” that seemed to fit all of the large cast into the film, it also gave all of them their turn at being funny and well rounded, it is no wonder that the script was nominated for an Oscar (and in my opinion should have won). This is something the screenwriters of “Bad Moms” needn’t worry about.
It may sound like I am not recommending this movie as one to go and see, in fact I would recommend this film whole heartedly to all, all of its main comedy set pieces are hilarious and the audience I saw it with were laughing out loud. There are no holds barred and the actors really embrace their inner filth. My favorite scene is when Kathryn Hahn is explaining to Mila Kunis how to have sex with a man who is uncircumcised – let me just say it involves a hoody and Kristen Bell.
Go and see this now!