Being a mom is tough and, in a lot of ways, motherhood in the 21st century is uncharted territory. Moms struggle with a work/life balance that can be as demanding as it is stressful and unprecedented. Which means it is a subject ripe for comedy.
Writer/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the brain trust behind “The Hangover” series, have assembled a tremendous cast and have delivered a raunchy, rowdy, sharp and heartfelt take on modern motherhood in “Bad Moms.”
Our heroes are a trio of archetypes in the overworked and underappreciated realm of motherhood. The focus of the story falls on Amy (Mila Kunis), a frazzled mom burning her candle at both ends between her job at a coffee company and keeping her two kids and her less-than-helpful husband Mike (David Walton) on track.
At her kids’ stuffy, upper-middle-class school, she is held to an impossible standard of perfection by supreme alpha mom and PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her two equally judgmental toadies Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo).
As she nears her breaking point, Amy befriends two other social outcasts, stay-at-home doormat Kiki (Kristen Bell) and slutty single mom Carla (Kathryn Hahn).
These three team up to buck the system, blow off some steam, and prove that loving your kids and trying your best is really all that should be asked of any mother.
While “Bad Moms” establishes the high-minded premise that just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you’re dead and actually has some well-earned emotional moments, this is an all-out comedy that succeeds in landing nearly every punch it throws.
This is one of the funniest movies of the year and while Lucas and Moore know how to expertly frame a joke, most of the credit goes to the cast.
Kunis is great as the every-mom and gamely suffers all of the indignities of modern motherhood and provides an anchor for the movie and all of the craziness that whirls around her.
Applegate is the seasoned pro here and her take on the ice queen Gwendolyn is dependably brilliant.
The most pleasant surprise here is Bell, who shows she can take her performance broad and nails some great physical gags as Kiki the wallflower.
But the movie’s biggest standout is Hahn, who has had a long career making the most of her countless supporting roles. Here, she gets all of the biggest laughs and if there is justice in this world, “Bad Moms” will do for her what “The Hangover” did for Zach Galifianakis.
“Bad Moms” is a late-summer treat for moms and those who love to party with them. Hey, they may be moms, but they still know how to have a good time.
“Bad Moms” is rated R for sexual material, nudity, language throughout, and drug and alcohol content.