Wish fulfillment for underappreciated moms everywhere. Bad Moms is a smorgasbord of crude humor, most of the time teetering on the edge of going too far, but I found almost all scenes pointing towards recognizable experience. The comedy here is to see moms who feel the need to liberate themselves in such ways as when they go on a depraved spree at a supermarket, well… I say it’s something some moms, still hip to imagine what their lives were before children, fantasize about getting wild with the booze, the junk food, and making passes at the male employee zombies.
Mila Kunis is gorgeous and funny, and so, a peerless choice to play our heroine. Her character Amy Mitchell decides to rebel soon after she kicks her husband out of the house after he is caught pleasuring himself to a webcam girl. Embarrassing to watch this scene as family entertainment? Teetering on the edge of crudeness? One person I know close to me hated “Bad Moms” and lamented that there just aren’t any cheery, good-natured comedies being made anymore. I lament over the same thing when I see garbage like “Dirty Grandpa” which has nothing relatable to it. But I feel the raunchy “Bad Moms” nevertheless has got something of a soul. “Why does everything that comes out of your mouth sound like a cry for help?” is one of the movie’s sharpest lines.
The visual humor works, too. Aren’t todays bake sales at school an unofficial showing off contest for Moms? This movie gets the satire down in spades. The scene where the moms talk about their fantasy escapes, and one says that she wishes she was hospitalized from a car wreck so she could watch soap operas and eat Jell-O? Why not? These ladies are tired of trying to be supermoms.
I will say I was sporadically turned off. I found the one scene that annoyed me most was Clark Duke’s introduction, his character is the clueless boss of a coffee company. He has a monologue that tells of some kind of erotic fantasy he had the night before, and… ugh. So yes, once or twice writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (who wrote “The Hangover”) try too hard to be edgy to the point the edginess is self-conscious.
The movie has some clean humor, rarely but surely. There is a shot of Kunis, having ditched work, sitting down at a posh restaurant patio. I was jolly over this line: “This is the first time in twelve years I was able to sit down and eat a breakfast by myself and read a newspaper.”
The movie is dirty, though, I shouldn’t mince words. There’s a pantomime by the very saucy Kathryn Hahn on how to deal with uncircumcised penises, Kristen Bell is a much needed sweetheart who tells of her Friday night sex sessions with her controlling jerk husband, Kunis goes out to a singles bar to get laid (if grandma’s watching, I know, it’s unladylike), and there’s some brief shots of lesbian moms making out. I think it’s all very funny though because the casting is so spot on and I couldn’t help but believe in these women.
With Christina Applegate as a harpy PTA president, and Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumulo as her disciples, and Jay Hernandez as the single dad hunk.
101 Minutes. Rated R.
COMEDY / CRUDE HUMOR / WEEKEND DEBAUCHERY
Film Cousins: “9 to 5” (1980); “Bad Santa” (2003); “Bad Teacher” (2011); “Sisters” (2015).