Classic Review: Bad Moms (2016)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Bad Moms” which originally appeared here.

Amy (Mila Kunis) has a great husband named Mike (David Walton), overachieving children named Jane (Oona Laurence) and Dylan (Emjay Anthony), beautiful home and successful career. Unfortunately, she’s also overworked, exhausted and ready to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other stressed-out mothers named Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) to get away from daily life and conventional responsibilities. As the gals go wild with their newfound freedom, they set themselves up for the ultimate showdown with queen bee Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her clique of seemingly perfect moms named Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo).

Mothers haven’t been getting their due lately. Mother’s Day was definitely not a good start but here’s another crack at it with Bad Moms. This film is better for mothers but not in the way you probably think. Amy (Kunis) has always wanted to be a mother. She has a seemingly perfect life with a great husband (Walton), great children (Laurence and Anthony), and a successful career. But things aren’t as they seem as she feels overworked and exhausted and is ready to snap at any moment. Fed up trying to be a “perfect” mom, she befriends two similarly minded moms named Kiki (Bell) and Carla (Hahn) with who together, decide to get away from their lives and responsibilities.

The film lives or dies on the relatability of Amy since most people, probably moms, will want to see this as they see themselves relating to these characters and their struggles. This film is mainly for a different demographic (I’m not a mom) but it will be easy for mothers to relate to Amy and her struggles. From taking care of each of her kids and all of their school and extracurricular activities while also taking care of her husband and her career, she is barely keeping it together. Even though she does so much, it still isn’t enough, making her life extremely stressful. One day, she just decides that it was enough and decides to quit. This sudden decision doesn’t exactly rub alpha mom named Gwendolyn (Applegate) the right way and earns her the ire of Gwendolyn and her cronies, Stacy (Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Mumolo).

Not only does she quit school, she also takes control of her career. Feeling overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated she stops allowing herself to be taken advantage of by her boss Dale (Clark Duke). This decision doesn’t sit right with her kids as they have to learn to take care of themselves or her husband as Amy no longer tolerates him being more of a third child. These realizations leave Amy feeling liberated as a stressful cloud has been lifted. With a mother finally standing up to Gwendolyn’s overbearing nature, she lashes out at Amy, trying to ruin her and her family’s life at every turn.

The best part of the film has to be watching Amy, Kiki, and Carla hanging out together and having fun. Seeing them not care was great to watch and infectious. This created some great moments where some were admittedly in the trailer but were hilarious. Kunis, Bell, and Hahn had great chemistry together  which made things better. Carla was the outrageous, sex-crazed alcoholic single mother and Kiki was a shy, introverted stay-at-home mother of four. Because of Kiki’s nature, it was hard for her to make friends but being frustrated with her position, she flocks to Amy and Carla. A lot of the humour came from Carla’s inappropriate outrageousness. She had no filter and said everything that came to mind with the majority being hilarious. This rubs off onto Kiki and Amy as they had moments of their own.

The film focused on Amy, Kiki, and Carla but it also devoted time to Gwendolyn and her cronies. Gwendolyn was the alpha of the group for sure as the overbearing PTA president. Her and her cronies would often just stand there and judge everybody else. She imposed her impossible expectations onto everyone which eventually led to Amy’s outburst. Her outburst definitely rubbed her the wrong way as she did not like being challenged and took it very personally and went to great lengths to get back at her. After going to far, enough was enough and Amy decided to challenge her for PTA president. Gwendolyn proved to be a great foil and Vicky was a great comic relief as the stupid member of the group but Stacy had no personality.

The acting was good all around with Kunis being fun to watch while being very likeable and relatable with Hahn and Bell making great friends. Applegate was a great foil, making a character that is fun to hate and her vulnerable side was great too. Mumolo’s stupid Vicky stood out here while Pinkett Smith’s Stacy did not. While Amy’s struggles made her out to be more relatable, they may have been a little exaggerated. The plot isn’t exactly the most original and was predictable.

Overall, this was a fun film for which a lot of moms will see themselves in but others should enjoy as well thanks to hilarious performances by Kunis, Hahn, and Bell.

Score: 8/10

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