At the time of writing, Bad Moms has apparently already made almost $56 million big ones at the box office and it’s my bet it will double, triple and even inspire a TV series. Yes, sisters, it’s. that. good.
Think the Hangover meets Sex and the City – Bad Moms is crass, irreverent and confronting, yet oh so relatable it will make you squirm in your seat on more than a few occasions. And just like SATC, if you’re a Mum, you’ll see yourself in at least one (if not all) of the main characters which can uncomfortable, comforting and hilarious all at the same time.
Continuing on with our SATC comparison, the main characters could be Carrie, Samantha and Charlotte (ditching Miranda, I mean, who ever liked her anyway?) but are now Mums living in the burbs. Amy, Carla and Kiki but ‘living the dream’ of the white picket fence variety, swapping their Manolo’s for Kumfs and their Cosmopolitans for long blacks, their days as Moms are tedious, long and unfulfilled.
The main character of Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) is as genuinely sweet and likeable as Carrie, albeit less the expansive wardrobe and cigarettes. Married to husband Mike, Amy has two children after shacking up early with her first baby arriving at aged 20. But life is far from rosy – Mike is useless, lazy and narcissistic. More like a flatmate than a husband, he offers next to nix when it comes to responsibility in providing, housework or child-rearing let alone noticing his wife’s undeniable attractiveness or needs. After catching him cheating on her over the internet, Amy has no option but to confront her feelings of rage and complacently towards him. Kicking him to the curb and out of the house, she realises his only purpose may well have been to be the glue that held her, and in turn the family unit together.
In between this, Amy (like most Mums nowadays) is juggling more than her fair share of burdens in running the entire household; think school projects, soccer practice, working a part-time (aka full time) job in a coffee company for a clueless hipster boss and throw in a sick dog with vertigo “Who knew this was even a thing?”, she’s almost at breaking point. The final blow is Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) who, as the head of the PTA strives for perfection in not only herself but demands it of others, pushes Amy that little bit too far regarding delivery of bakery goods in the upcoming all American bake-sale. Think Michael Douglas in Falling Down, you just know Amy’s about to blow but, depending on the wind direction, we just don’t know which way.
It’s here she meets fellow unfulfilled and equally unhinged Moms Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell) who, for their own miserable reasons have all converged at the local dive bar for sweet relief. It’s over a few shots, wines and basically anything to get them drunk that they bond over their shared loathing of the perfect Mom (whatever the hell that is), of Gwendolyn and her ilk and compare stories of their perceived shitty mother skills. They bond even further after a drunken romp around the fluorescent-lit local supermarket culminating in an all-night bender. Deciding to quit striving for unobtainable perfectness at her own expense, Amy throws down the gauntlet to her newfound besties to just, well, fuck it. “Let’s be bad Moms”, she declares. What ensues is a battle against the excellence Gwendolyn represents and what we behold as good parenting, all to side-splitting results. Nothing is sacred or off limits in this film and it’s here you can tell comedy genius Judd Apatow (think Train Wreck, This is 40 etc) had a heavy hand in its production.
Reuniting Kunis and Bell since Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the cast truly deliver a stellar performance with Kathryn Hahn the lubricant that completes the triangle of deranged friendship as the hilarious, sexually- empowered single Mom. Bell is subtle and on-cue with Applegate simply picking up her role of Veronica Corningston from Anchorman and placing it down with a side-dish of bitchy to perfection. Jada Pinkett-Smith (cue Miranda?) is in there somewhere too.
Bad Moms is of course a comedy (and a great one at that) but at it’s core, its an insight into the struggles of all Mums who said they wanted it all, yet didn’t realise this meant they had to do it all. Dad’s don’t feature much in this film and that’s the point – it makes us question the reality of the enormous pressures we are all under as Mums and the additional expectations we put on ourselves and those around us. The answer of course is a life-hack from John Farnham in ‘taking the pressure down’ by drinking more, supporting other Mums and to quit being all Rebecca Judd-gey about whose life is better. Because at the end of the day, we all suck at it. Some of us just look better on Instagram. Ya dig?
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