In the continuation of Hollywood comedies starting with ‘bad’ this or ‘bad’ that, Bad Moms is an entertaining filler which demands that you disengage your brain for an hour and a half.
Following Amy (Mila Kunis) as she rebels against the PTA queen Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her impossible and perfectionist standards for motherhood and maternal responsibility, Amy joins forces with two other overworked and under-appreciated mothers (Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn) to take her down.
It is refreshing that, in a Hollywood movie, women unapologetically take take the centre stage without the need of a male supporter or a focus on a romantic interest, and Bad Moms is a film which desperately tries to scream ‘girl power’. However, Bad Moms plays on stereotypes to the extreme and these actresses do not play a character as much as a type. Kunis is the career-focused mother stuck in a loveless marriage and who does absolutely everything for her children, Kristen Bell is the friendless and lonely stay-at-home mum with a controlling husband, and Applegate is the wealthy super-mum who controls both parents and teachers through fear and bullying. The male characters are also subject to stereotypes, existing in the movie either to be objectified or to be viewed as oppressors.
The comedic timing is often spot on, and it consistently gained chuckles from the audience. Music was used to heighten comic effect, but the excessive combined use of slow motion and club music throughout the film weakened its effect as the film wore on. Some variation of cinematic devices would not have gone amiss in this film.
A message that kept being repeated in the film is that no-one truly knows what they are doing, and perhaps this also applied to its makers. More could have been done to attempt to create a comedy classic, but it is a promising start towards a more gender balanced future in film. With figures such as Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, as well as Amy Schumer, Kirsten Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, one would hope that such a future is not too far away.
Written for The Student newspaper.