Bad Moms stars Mila Kunis as Amy. She’s 32 and feeling old. At the coffee company where she works, everyone is under 25 and spends their days playing ping pong and rollerskating round the office. Amy’s trying to be a good mother, but the stress of getting her daughter, Jane (Oona Laurence), to soccer* practice (*which is football over here, but then they call football what we refer to as American Football), plus running the house, all takes its toll, and she gives son, Dylan (Emjay Anthony), ‘peanut-free peanut butter’. “What does peanut-free peanut butter means?”, he enquires. “I don’t know!”, comes the reply.
Her husband, Mike (David Walton), jacks off to online ‘intimate chats’ than sleep with his wife, and he’s basically like a third child in the household. Meanwhile, all the ‘moms’ stare at ‘hot widower’ Jesse (Jay Hernandez – Suicide Squad), and grope other men whenever they get the chance.
However, with Christina Applegate, as Gwendolyn, being ‘Miss Perfect’, running the PTA while having the seemingly perfect life, it’s a race for everyone else to catch up. It all gets too much and, together with single mother Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and harrassed stay-at-home mom Kiki (Kristen Bell), they rebel and become ‘bad moms’, as the title suggests. We see them tearing up Tesco (or whatever the US equivalent is), drinking their vodka, snogging the security guard, and telling a baby how cute it is (when really, as someone who is not a parent, they all look the same to me – like angry Playdoh)
After Bad Neighours*, and Bad Moms, I think I’ll write Bad Bachelors, where my mates and I get to detail intimate thoughts about Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Samantha Fox and so on.
(*really, just called ‘Neighbors‘, but the studio thought viewers might expect the Aussie soap on the big screen)
I wondered if they should’ve called it “Bad Mothers“, since the latter is normally short for a strong swear that Bruce Willis is fond of saying in his Die Hard movies, and this film is full of swearing, but then, it’s American, so ‘Moms’ is a frequently used term.
Bad Moms won’t change the world, but out of all of the frequent comedies that hit the big screen – a lot of which really shouldn’t – this is certainly one of the better ones. There’s a lot of laughs, and they come regularly, albeit slowing the pace down a little once the first 20-30 minutes has set the scene. Even still, the hit rate was far better than a film I was expecting from one which has two directors, which is never a good sign unless it’s a CGI movie when they’ve each got plenty to do.
Written like a high school comedy with adults acting more like children – and Ms Applegate being the complete antithesis of her characters in Married With Children and Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead, it’s not Ferris Bueller or The Breakfast Club, but then few films can hope to be, but what it is, is 100 minutes well-spent. Buy your ticket, check your brain at the door, and enjoy. And I certainly burst out laughing about a joke that about one character being upset because their PVR had stopped recording their favourite programme for no apparent reason (must’ve been a Humax!)
This is also the kind of comedy which usually ends up in a slightly extended form in on the Blu-ray when that’s come out (when they could just add those few minutes to the cinema version), but what’s on screen here is perfectly fine as it is, even thought there’s some slight edits to a couple of scenes which were just a bit different in the trailer (below).
On a technical point, it was interesting to note the credits state the film was shot in Dolby Digital 7.1, yet it’s a comedy with nothing noticeable in the way of directional sound. It’s a comedy. Laugh your ass off!
And for those still reading about my end-credit adventures, this one has a post-credits scene where the main actresses and their ‘moms’ talk about what they were like as ‘moms’, for those who are already ‘moms’, or perhaps what their ‘moms’ are like, and so on. During this part, the lights came on to pre-film trailer/advert level, rather than staying off. At least, at this level, the lights don’t dominate the screen… but once the segment had finished and the regular credits started, the usual bright-lights-that-white-out-the-screen came on… On the plus side, no cleaners came in, who would’ve switched on the ‘nuclear blast-white’ lights.
Bad Moms isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but you can now buy the Soundtrack CD right now. Also, click on the poster for the full-size version.
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: Entertainment Film Dists Ltd
Cinema: Vue, Lowry, Salford Quays
Format: 2.35:1 (Arri Alexa)
Released: August 26th 2016
Directors: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Producers: Bill Block and Suzanne Todd
Screenplay: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Music: Christopher Lennertz
Amy: Mila Kunis
Carla: Kathryn Hahn
Kiki: Kristen Bell
Gwendolyn: Christina Applegate
Stacy: Jada Pinkett Smith
Vicky: Annie Mumolo
Jane: Oona Laurence
Dylan: Emjay Anthony
Mike: David Walton
Dale Kipler: Clark Duke
Jessie Harkness: Jay Hernandez
Principal Burr: Wendell Pierce
Sharon: Leah McKendrick
Tessa: Megan Ferguson
Kent: Lyle Brocato
Dr. Karl: Wanda Sykes
Jaxon: Cade Cooksey
Coach Craig: JJ Watt
Herself: Martha Stewart
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.