We don’t know how she does it. Amy (Mila Kunis) has a seemingly perfect life, with a her high school sweetheart husband, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. But she’s also exhausted, over-worked and over-committed. And she’s about to snap.
Sick of living up to impossible expectations, she gives up on being the ‘perfect mother’ and joins forces with two other over-stressed mums – pushover stay-at-home mother Kiki (Kristen Bell) and foul-mouthed loose canon single parent Clara (Kathryn Hahn). To liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities, they get wasted and go on a wild on a very unmotherly binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence. All the while putting them on a collision course as they wage war with the PTA’s Queen Bee Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her clique of condescending and devoted perfect moms (Jada Pinkett-Smith and Annie Mumulo).
Bad Moms is a strange one. When you see all the trailers and the promos for the film, they really try to sell it as a hard comedy, a Bridesmaids-esque goofball parody to parenting. But then when you go to sit down and watch it, sure, there’s lots of slapstick comedy moments and montages of the titled ‘bad moms’ getting drunk, but then there are moments when it gets sincere. Like, too sincere.
I feel like the over-the-top comedy and the really serious scenes didn’t really pair well together. I know in every film, the second act is meant to be when the protagonist’s life all falls apart, so that they can have the justice they deserve in the last act of the film, but it all felt a bit confusing at times. Am I meant to laugh at the bad moms, or be sad and sympathetic to them? At times, it did really feel like Bad Moms didn’t know what it wanted to be.
At the end credits (and this isn’t a spoiler, I promise), they had the leading actresses sit down with their own real-life mothers and talk about their childhoods. I thought this was super sweet, and really honed down the message of the film that there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ mother. (Or at least that’s what I think the message was, again it got confusing at times) I thought the interviews were really cool and candid, and I’m glad that the directors decided to add it to the end credits, rather than make us wait to watch the extras when it eventually comes out on DVD.
Despite its slight confused identity, I like the message that Bad Moms tries to portray. I don’t need to have children of my own to know that being a mother is hard in this day and age. With all the mummy blogs judging you for staying at home, for working full time and not being with your kids, for breastfeeding, for breastfeeding too long… The list is endless. There’s no perfect way to be a parent, so you should cut yourself some slack and just be the best one you can be, without killing yourself in the process.