Bad Moms is a new comedy from the writers of The Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It focuses on Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) being fed up of trying to live up to the expectations of a perfect mother and takes on the head of the PTA Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate).
Now I’ve never really understood what the PTA is, I’m not sure there’s anything really comparable in the UK, so I did find myself slightly confused as to how a parent could have such a huge influence over a school. But that aside I actually thought that Bad Moms was a pretty entertaining comedy. It started pretty slowly, and after the first 10 to 15 minutes I was slightly dreading the rest of the film, I don’t think I’d laughed once. But once it got into the film a little more it got a lot funnier. There were a lot of really funny jokes and humorous moments and I laughed plenty throughout.
A big part of this was down to the dynamic and chemistry between the three central actresses. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn all played off each other really well, and all brought their own things to the table. Kunis is an extremely likeable lead, she’s proven it before in films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and she does so again here. Bell and Hahn bring a lot of the comedy, Bell’s character Kiki is pretty weird and Hahn adds a lot of the raunchier comedy, but doesn’t completely overshadow the entire movie with it. Christina Applegate plays the antagonist Gwendolyn very well and proves she can play less likeable characters. There was also a great cameo from Wendell Pierce, of the Wire fame. Finally JJ Watt playing a slightly hapless football (soccer) coach also amused me.
The story itself has some problems. It’s extremely formulaic; I’d be surprised if you couldn’t see where it was going from the little description I gave at the start. But the biggest problem is how unnecessary the romantic subplot between Mila Kunis’ character and Jay Hernandez’s Jessie. It genuinely adds nothing to the film, and doesn’t move the plot forward in any way. It’s probably been added because they feel that comedies need and to pad it out. They could have left that plot out, and cut the film down to a tighter hour and a half.
On the whole Bad Moms was a pretty funny and entertaining film once it got going. The strength of the three leads was enough to overcome a formulaic and slightly bloated story.