Starring: Kathryn Hahn, Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Oona Lawrence, Jada Pinkett-Smith (Rated MA – 100 min).
Three overworked underappreciated burnt-out soccer mums drop everything to start actually enjoying life over long liquid lunches, or simply party hard irresponsibly, much to the disdain of fellow parents that dedicate themselves excessively to the likes of emergency meetings or fundraising opportunities.
The wonderful, fresh-faced Mila Kunis is Amy. After an incredibly bad day that includes her lazy husband caught in the act of an online affair before leaving her to juggle the kids, dog and house duties alone, she is chastised when arriving late to a parental gathering. Amy quits the group and joins two other outcasts on a road to irresponsibility – these sisters are doing it for themselves leaving their stuck up, by the book, fun police diva counterparts behind. Randomly joining forces in a bar, the trio make a pact to be bad moms resisting the formulaic world of maternal establishment.
To say there is just one tipping point into vulgarity during this comedy is wrong. Over consumption into shock territory may widen the eyes of unsuspecting audience members on a regular basis in a merry-go-round of profanity. From the writers of The Hangover, blokes behaving badly is replaced by premium girl-power straight talk on a variety of personable subjects often relating to sex.
A veteran of straight faced wit, Christina Applegate, and her cronies reminded me of perennial Stepford Wives (clone type humanoid mannequins featured in the cult 1975 drama and not so great 2004 comical remake) but it is Kathryn Hahn who heightens every scene as the brazen, skimpily clad Carla. Resisting her innuendo is futile. Perfectly comic timing matches her outrageous physical actions, soon to be seen in serious mode during the tender drama Captain Fantastic, Hahn would not have looked out of place in the recent Ghostbusters update.
Despite a cast of footloose and fancy free characters plus definite genuine streaks of hilarious unbridled insanity, Bad Moms hardly breaks reflective new ground of unbridled insanity of 2011 hit Bridesmaids for example. Upbeat musical diversions are used in montage with slow motion to moderate effect, while surprisingly the happy ending seems all too perfect considering the madness that came before it. Overall I laughed throughout much more than expected.
Shane A. Bassett