So here we are, with another Hollywood comedy. This time, it is Bad Moms and if you have had the delight of watching the trailer it sells itself as a textbook mainstream comedy that we have all become too accustomed to.
The difficulty with Hollywood comedies is not that they are entertaining. I can respect its sole purpose is to please audiences in its masses. My problem is that more often than not they are predictable carbon copy productions. Add a script, a blockbuster cast and there you go – a film becomes created. Now some of you will be thinking “get over it, it’s a movie, and it’s just meant to entertain and be funny” which is fine if you are not looking for originality, but I am.
Mila Kunis performs as a convincing character of a mother that is burning a candle on both sides.
As for Bad Moms, it is put together like a typical Hollywood comedy, and it is predictable in some places however at the same time I was surprised how better it was in comparison to the trailers. The film is genuinely funny yet entertaining with its salient messages. The premise of the story is that Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) is a highly busy mother taking on several different roles to be a good mum, a good role model to the community and a great professional at her job. Amy even participates in an after school mothers group that discuss ‘important’ issues regarding schooling, children and being a mum. Unfortunately, the busy lifestyle eventually takes its toll, and she decides to be a ‘bad’ mom and letting loose with a couple of other mothers. Essentially the story is following a mother letting off some steam and taking on life in a different way.
Mila Kunis performs as a convincing character of a mother that is burning a candle on both sides. She genuinely looks strained and overcooked in the first phase of the film. The comedy is not present that much at the start, but it grows as the movie progresses. The introduction of the two actresses performing as the other mums (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) is when the comedy starts as all three start blowing off steam in a series of gags that make you giggle all the way consistently through the movie.
The chief lesson is no parent is perfect as long as you try your best which Amy translates to the audience throughout the film amongst the messy partying and blowing off steam.
The film surprisingly tackles fundamental issues about the perception of mums. There is a significant scene at the start when Amy is in a rush to go to work, and members of the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) group admire that she works hard despite her being a mother. When she goes home, her family are at the table waiting for dinner to be served, and she is apologetic for the food arriving late. When Amy wakes up, her children always wait for her to do breakfast rather than doing it themselves. Later on in the film, Kristen Bell’s character is accused of being irresponsible for not looking after her children because she is seen as a full-time mum and the father conveys this message. These type of scenes are present throughout the film which shows that mums should be appreciated for the hard work they put in to look after their children and that they shouldn’t be totally relied on for everything. The film also tackles the issues to those people with sexist views that mothers cannot be a full-time parent with a full-time career but also holds the torch out to those mums that do stay at home and look after their children. The film, as a whole, tackles these issues under the comedy lamp, and it works because you find it ridiculous that these are concerning matters which is why it is funny, which is why it is a comedy.
I guess if you are a mother this film becomes relatable as a lot of the gags discuss the stresses and strains of being a parent and having to present yourself as a ‘real’ mum in the eyes of your peers. The chief lesson is no parent is perfect as long as you try your best which Amy translates to the audience throughout the film amongst the messy partying and blowing off steam. In the end, you get a good comedy paying homage to hard-working and dedicated mothers regardless if they work or not – the appreciation is there. What I also found a positive is that the female characters did not have to rely on men to achieve their goals; a problematic theme that still runs through cinema. There is a romantic interest that is a subplot within the narrative, but Amy does not have to rely on him to achieve her goals.
The film is not perfect. It still is a predictable Hollywood comedy that is jus a movie with a series of constructed gags around an individual subject. The issue, this time, is mothers. The movie could have been funnier I guess, but it is certainly not boring. I watched this with my partner, and she did point at the fact that other audiences members will probably find it funnier if they are a mother because most of the jokes were subject to that. In the end, you have a decent film led by Mila Kunis who does an exquisite role as a strained mother who has come to the end of her tether and decided to do what she would like to do, which is to enjoy life. It’s not amazing, but it’s not bad either and do not let the trailers persuade your opinion.
Conclusion: A good comedy about mums. Do not be put off by the trailers.
Did I check the time? No
Would I watch it again? Yes
Director – Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Wanda Sykes as Dr. Karl
Kathryn Hahn as Carla Dunkler
Jay Hernandez as Jessie Harkness
Christina Applegate as Gwendolyn James
Jada Pinkett Smith as Stacy
Kristen Bell as Kiki
Mila Kunis as Amy Mitchell
Martha Stewart as Martha Stewart
3.6 stars out of 5
By Dan Hart
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