Bad Moms Parent Review
Rather than trying to answer what could have been valid cry for help for real family issues, the screenwriters have opted to create a motherhood-gone-wild scenario.
Somewhere deep within Bad Mom’s assemblage of boozing, cat fighting and complaining fests are some good questions. What is a woman to do about over-programmed children? Porn addicted husbands? And school politics that get in the way of their kids’ education? But rather than trying to answer what could have been valid cry for help, writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (who also penned The Hangover franchise) have opted to create a motherhood-gone-wild scenario.
At the center of the story is Amy (Mila Kunis), mother of two. She has a daughter (Oona Laurence) who can’t accept anything but perfection and a son (Emjay Anthony) who is way too comfortable with imperfection. Neither can “cook” their own breakfast or bag a lunch. On top of that she holds a demanding part-time job with a boss (Clark Duke) who expects a full-time commitment, she has to deal with over-achievers who lead the Parent Teacher Association at her children’s school and the family dog is sick. So we totally get why she reaches her breaking point when she discovers her husband (David Walton) at his computer chatting with a naked woman. After he admits the online affair has been going on for a while, Amy sends him packing.
Within the parent community of the school Amy finds a couple of cohorts who share her frustrations. Single mother Carla (Kathryn Hahn) has given up on being a positive influence in her only-child’s life, and naïve Kiki (Kristen Bell) is getting tired of trying to raise a gaggle of kids with a guy that can’t find his way around a diaper bag. The trio commiserates by heading to a bar and getting drunk. And then do it again the next night. As Amy lets go of her responsibilities and obligations, she decides to make herself a new life—this time focusing on what she wants. This includes indulging in casual sex to satisfy her displeasure for her husband and taking on the controlling president of the PTA, Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate).
The character of Gwendolyn is one of many extreme exaggerations featured in this movie. The rich blonde essentially runs the middle school. Ruling with an iron fist, she obsesses over food ingredients in bake sale items and determines which kids get to play on the PTA sponsored soccer team. Jessie Harkness (Jay Hernandez), is another larger-than-life portrayal. The recent widower has a body so buff that he becomes the main drool for every female in the film. All other men on the screen, including the school principal (Wendell Pierce), are inept imbeciles who live for sports, sex and drugs. And, for the most part, the children presented here are inconvenient distractions for their parents.
Alcohol lubricates nearly every social interaction depicted and leads characters to engage in reckless and illegal behaviour. In between the drinking binges, the ladies determine to sound all grown up by using dialogue laden with sexual expletives (over 35 – with a few used in a sexual context), along with many other crude and clinical terms for sex and anatomy. In fact, most of the discussions that occur in this script are confrontational, inebriated, and/or full of profane hyperbole. Actual sexual interludes are brief and non-detailed (with the exception of the nude woman seen on the computer screen). And considering the short amount of time that has passed since Amy’s separation, she’s quick to put a new partner in her bed.
Bad Moms may be billed as a comedy, but it dives into some serious life and family issues. Although humor can be an effective way to explore deep topics, this screenplay tosses that opportunity away like an empty bottle on the side of the road. (Ironically, the best part of this film is a series of interviews in the credits where the real mothers of the cast members share touching and funny insights on being a mom.) Offering nothing except an unconvincing fairy tale finale, it feels like all this raunchy rant sets out to prove is that moms are capable of being just as bad as anyone else.Directed by Jon Lucas, Scott Moore. Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Katherine Hahn, Anne Mumolo . Running time: 101 minutes. Updated September 21, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Bad Moms here.
Bad Moms Parents Guide
These women portrayed here are facing some serious family and life issues. While the film presents fairly realistic situations, do you feel the choices these characters make are productive? What realistic ways could these issues be approached? What things might they try to improve their circumstances?
When Amy walks in on her husband, she accuses him of looking at porn and then asks what kind of porn he enjoys. It’s not until she realizes he is communicating with another (naked) woman that she’s upset enough to ask him to leave. Do you feel there’s a difference between looking at pornography and communicating with a specific woman? Is a video of a real woman taken in the past any different than a live shot? How serious are these activities? Was Amy justified in her decision?
Later Amy convinces her husband to attend a couples’ therapy session with the implied hope of restoring their marriage. The short scene ends with the counsellor telling them their only option is to get a divorce. Why do you think the screenwriters put that line in the script? How might the audience have reacted had the story tried to pull the couple back together? How does her husband differ from her new love interest? How well does she know the new man?