By Shilpa Sajja
Jon Lucas’s and Scott Moore’s “Bad Moms” is a raunchy comedy that attempts to use humor to portray the problems with traditional gender roles. While there were a few good laughs, the overzealous attempt to portray suburban life and the characterization of each of the “moms” was strained to breaking point.
“Bad Moms” tells the story of three parents who, tired of their thankless jobs, give up and decide to break all the predefined rules of “momhood.” No more PTA meetings, no more bake sales, no more boxed lunches. The underlying commentary on the unreasonable expectations put on parents is overshadowed by suggestive jokes and a see-through plot. The addition of a group of popular moms makes the movie seem like Regina George from “Mean Girls” grew up and created an all-powerful mom clique, rather than three unique moms letting loose and having fun.
Like the film, the characters in “Bad Moms” are all hot messes. While the premise of the story is relatable, the execution and sub-par acting results in a chick-flick full of cheap laughs. The plot was jagged and characters fit too well into overdone tropes: The seemingly perfect antagonist with a surprise-tragic-backstory; the slacker husband who counters the overworked, overwhelmed “super mom”; the character with no sexual inhibitions whatsoever; and the naive, hesitant sidekick. Even the love interest is just a handsome boy-toy who helps rejuvenate Amy’s sex life. It’s as if the writers took a thick black marker and boxed in each character, rendering the performance and the emotion one-dimensional.
The only redeeming part of “Bad Moms” is the therapist. Wanda Sykes plays the part with a forward sassiness punctuated by one-liners. Yet, even this character fit into yet another of Hollywood’s hackneyed tropes: the sassy black woman.
While the movie occasionally made fun of itself through slow-mo editing and overplayed music, the jokes are crass, the execution extreme and the story — a proposed story of female empowerment — felt forced and cringe-worthy. Perhaps tired, working mothers around the country might enjoy drinking a bottle of wine (as Amy and her friends often do in the movie) and have a quick laugh at “Bad Moms”. Seems to me that Kunis and her two sidekicks should stick to being “good” moms.
Contact Shilpa Sajja at 19ssajja ‘at’ castilleja.org and Sho Sho Ho at 19sho ‘at’ castilleja.org.