Review: ‘Bad Moms’ Is Simple But Fun Parental Humor
“Bad Moms” brings expected laughs mixed with heartwarming parenting.
Mila Kunis stars in “Bad Moms” as a mom who does it all without the recognition she deserves. After being overworked and under-appreciated Amy (Mila Kunis) joins Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell) in a very unconventional, long overdue period of self indulgence. But while they may be enjoying themselves, there are some moms that are not receptive to their new found “freedom.”
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 2.5
“Bad Moms” follows a story structure that you’ve seen in most comedies. There’s a bit of a backstory, followed by a climactic breaking point that yields a lot of comedy, followed by some hurdles to overcome, and then a lesson learned. This film feels a lot like “The Hangover” without Vegas and it’s no surprise given that the writers of “The Hangover” (Jon Lucas and Scott Moore) are the directors of this film. They provided audiences with a fun but low risk story that doesn’t do much for originality but satisfies nonetheless.
The characters of the film are composed of a wide gamut with Amy (Kunis) being the balance of cast. Kiki (Bell) is consumed by her responsibilities as a mother while Carla (Hahn) is overly indulgent in her own selfish, but hilarious pursuits. As stated, Amy falls right into the middle balancing the other characters out. This is even demonstrated visually in most scenes with them all together where you will see Amy frequently positioned in the middle almost like a mediator. Their chemistry together works well in this regard but isn’t great like the ensemble in “Bridesmaids” or “The Hangover.” There are a few moments where the dialogue doesn’t flow naturally but for the most part, they still work together adequately enough to garner your attention.
Their opposition on the other hand is a bit less of a democratic ensemble. Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate), Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith), and Vicky (Annie Mumolo) are the top moms in the very strict PTA. Unlike the “bad moms,” this group is dominated by Gwendolyn leaving very few moments of dialogue for the others. It’s understandable to focus the opposition in a single unit like Applegate’s character but it did make me feel like Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo were essentially absent from the film. Despite their lack of screen time, I do think that Christina Applegate took a very strong lead as the villain. I hated her character (not her performance) so much and for that I have to recognize that she played her part well.
As for other aspects of cinematics, there’s not much to say about “Bad Moms.” This is a very cookie cutter film that is palatable on many levels but nothing particularly extraordinary. The characters had enough backstory to hold my interest yet not enough to be heavily invested in their cause. The story was outlandish yet relatable in a generic parenting sense. Overall it was right down the middle on many elements.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
Like a lot of formulaic comedies, “Bad Moms” found its rhythm in entertainment. By disrupting the suburban norm of parenting, it played out a fantasy that I’m sure many have had or at least can relate to. This led to many moments where I was “expectedly” caught off guard by shock value comedy and it induced some enjoyable moments of laughter. On the other hand, there were also a few moments that I saw coming at a distance and they garnered a pleasant chuckle rather than a wholehearted laugh. But regardless of the type of laugh occurring, the laughs were steady for the most part with few stagnant moments.
I want to also commend this film on its attempt to integrate some heartfelt moments in between the laughs. There are many parts of “Bad Moms” that depict the struggles of parenting, the bonds established, and the joy behind it all. There’s an especially emotional moment after the film concludes so I suggest you all don’t depart too quickly.
Re-Watchability – 3
Just like a rollercoaster “Bad Moms” has its climb, its fall, a few twists and turns, and then ends with a smile. It’s definitely a fun ride but with other films having used this formula, you may have ridden this ride many times before.
This upbeat comedy may not stand out as one of your all time favorites, but I wouldn’t judge anyone who added “Bad Moms” to their collection. I don’t think it’s worth seeing in theaters a second time, but I could see this film being a definite rental or a “Netflix and chill” night.
Blu Ray Features
I thoroughly enjoyed the extras and features on this Blu-ray. The deleted scenes weren’t anything revelatory but I always find missing footage interesting. The highlights of the extras were the outtakes and the special messages from the cast’s actual moms. Like most comedies, the outtakes took the comedy to another level. For those that like when an SNL cast member breaks character and starts laughing, it’s much of the same in this scenario. Outside of the comedy though, the connections between the cast and their mothers was very heartwarming. Some of these clips are included in the post credits as well but the expanded portion on this Blu-ray is very engaging. It’s a well rounded close to a film intended to be comedic but still carries a genuine message.
- Entertainment Value
"Bad Moms" is like "The Hangover" of parenting without the exciting setting of Las Vegas. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn are an appeasing ensemble for the most part and bring on the laughs you would expect. This is definitely a cookie cutter comedy, but I'm sure general audiences will enjoy the ride.
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