It’s not easy being a mum. Just ask part-time sales executive Amy (Mila Kunis). Despite her best efforts to be there for her children Jane (Oona Laurence) and Dylan (Emjay Anthony), Amy can’t escape the scathing, judgmental remarks by fellow parent Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate as the immaculately-dressed wealthy mom with two sidekicks you will love to hate).
Her crime? Well, being a working mother who can’t seem to make it in time for the parent-teacher association meetings chaired by Gwendolyn.
With a combination of ungrateful children, hectic daily schedule, cheating husband and Gwendolyn’s rules for the school bake sale (no gluten, butter, eggs, etc), Amy eventually snaps. She forms a friendship with Kiki (Kristen Bell), a highly stressed mom with four young kids, and Carla (Kathryn Hahn, my favourite as the hilarious single mom who gets Amy and Kiki to come out of their shells).
At a bar, they rant about different sets of parenting rules and the expectations that society has on mothers. Eventually, they decide to no longer put up a perfect front. The veneers are coming off, kids and husbands! Amy lets her kids make their own breakfast and Kiki gets her nagging husband to help out with the toddlers, while Carla keeps their newfound carefree ways alive.
As this is a comedy written by the same guys behind the Hangover franchise, viewers can expect a lot of partying, expletive-laden mums gone wild moments, though our censorship board keeps it classy.
The humour really comes through Hahn’s performance as the ultimate bad mum. Look out for the moment where Carla tells Amy how to tackle unfamiliar male physical traits while on a date.Her character complements Bell’s meek-mother role and the two opposites play off each other well. Hahn also nails the emotional aspect of her character especially in one scene where she promises to go to her son’s baseball games. I couldn’t help but tear up a little.
Sadly, Kunis is forgettable in her role. I remembered that she voices Meg in Family Guy and just wanted to go “Shut up, Meg!” at her. Still, you can’t help but root for Amy when she runs for PTA president against Gwendolyn.
Aside from being a film about acceptance (mums are not perfect and it’s okay), Bad Moms also celebrates friendship and sisterhood. Instead of the usual catty fights over men or designer handbags, here Amy leads a rally urging everyone to be kind and stand up for each other.
This is also where Bad Moms shines as the movie does make a compelling case for all kinds of mothers, addressing their needs and concerns.
Despite the way Amy and her friends feel about motherhood (the physical changes to their bodies, the life-long commitment and emotional toll), they all vow to die for their children. That is true love. So can’t we show a little bit more love to mums too? Start by not expecting them to lose that baby weight, stop judging if they want to go out for drinks, or if they want to feed their kids non-organic crap.
Bad Moms also has a lovely surprise at the end. Watch out for the interviews with the cast members’ mothers. Now excuse me. I have to call my mum.
Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay Hernandez