Amy (Mila Kunis) has too much going on in her life. She puts in full-time hours at her part-time job. Making healthy lunches for her kids, Dylan (Emjay Anthony) and Jane (Oona Laurence) and getting them to all their activities. Her husband, Mike (David Walton), doesn’t help out. To top it off, Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate), the judgmental head of the PTA and her henchwomen, Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo), are constantly belittling her parenting skills.
Fed up and almost to her breaking point, Amy finds herself at a bar with fellow moms, Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn). After a day of drinking, Amy, Kiki, and Carla decide to be bad moms. They are going to take time for themselves, setting aside all the demands on them for some me time every day. Along the way, Amy decides that she would make a better PTA president, incurring the wrath of Gwendolyn and her cronies.
To be honest, I went into Bad Moms with very low expectations. I was fully prepared for it to be a terrible movie. This type of ensemble parent comedy, be it male or female lead, tend to be formulaic and boring, often times with very lazy writing. Fortunately, this movie was anything but.
Mila Kunis, as the perpetually late Amy, leads the mom-semble very solidly. She is torn between her job, her kids, and her barely-there husband. While she isn’t the funniest character in the cast, her timing is spot on. The title for funniest belongs, instead, to Kathryn Hahn. It’s no surprise, really. Her brash, no holds barred Carla gets the lion’s share of the jokes. And she knows how to land them. Kristen Bell rounds out the crew with Kiki, the overly devoted mom, even sporting a handmade “MOM” necklace throughout most of the movie. Like Mila, she doesn’t get as many funny lines, but she holds her own.
The men go from one extreme to the other. David Walton is the almost too stereotypical selfish, lazy husband/father. They take the character to the brink of ridiculousness, without ever really crossing the line. The other end of the spectrum is the super good-looking, super attentive Jay Hernandez. The story arc here gets a touch predictable, but, nonetheless, provides a good story.
While there are a few times the humor isn’t quite there, the majority of the time the jokes hit, and are really funny. Again, a big part of this is Kathryn Hahn’s delivery. The story touches on the “men suck” them, but draws back just enough to not get too over the top. The themes here certainly aren’t new, but they are presented in a way that is surprisingly funny.
It’s refreshing to see a well-written comedy that gives women a chance to shine. I’m hoping with movies like this, we can finally put to rest the notion that female driven comedies aren’t as good as those starring men. Bad Moms is a funny, empowering movie showing just what it takes to be a mom in today’s world. Whether you see it in the theater or wait until it’s available to rent, it is definitely worth seeing.