In the continuation of Hollywood comedies starting with ‘bad’ this or ‘bad’ that, Bad Moms is an entertaining time-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 (Kirsten Bell, Kathryn Hahn) to take her down.
It is refreshing that, in a Hollywood movie, women unapologetically 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 as such these actresses play stock characters. Kunis is the career-focused mother stuck in a loveless marriage and who does absolutely everything for her children, Kirsten 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 gains chuckles from the audience. Music iis used to heighten comic effect, but the excessive combination of slow motion and club music throughout the film weakens the overall effect as the film wears on. Some variation of cinematic devices would not have gone amiss in this film.
A message that is repeated throughout the film is that no-one truly knows what they are doing, and perhaps this can also be applied to the filmmakers as more could have been done in order to create a comedy classic. That being said, it is a promising start towards a more gender balanced future in film. With prominent 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.
Image: Gage Skidmore; Flickr.com