Thursday 8 September 2016

Review: A fantastic cast brings the funny in Bad Moms

Return of the mummy: Kunis and Co are breaking Bad

Bad Moms (2016)
Directors: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate
Running time: 100mins

Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Annie Mumolo and Jada Pinkett Smith is one hell of a cast list and this enjoyable feelgood comedy certainly does it justice. Kunis is Amy, an overworked, taken-for-granted wife and mother who, when she isn't running around like a blue-arsed fly after spoiled kids, is bailing her lazy boss out of the mire and doting on man-child husband Mike. Driven to distraction by the 24/7 demands on her time and energy, plus the fact hubby has been having a weird online affair, Amy and a couple of new pals (Bell and Hahn) resolve to slack off and have some fun – a decision that brings her into bitter conflict with Applegate's control-freak PTA president. 

It takes a while to warm up and there's schmaltz aplenty but, once Bad Moms finds its rhythm, the gags come thick and fast. Kunis (Jupiter Ascending) does the 'nice girl with a side order of devilry' better than anyone while Hahn (We're The Millers) – as the sexually voracious, up-for-anything Carla – pretty much steals the whole film. Besides serving up consistently filthy laughs, it also has plenty to say about the ridiculous and harmful expectations modern life places on women and children to be perfect and successful, which for a mainstream Hollywood comedy is pretty radical. Plus, Kunis gets a great mini-rant about 'white dude entitlement' and the film's take on family life (kids are rotten little "shit faces" but you love them anyway) is honest and refreshing. 

Written and directed by two men  Jon Lucas and Scott Moore  you'd have a hard time making the case for this being a feminist movie but its heart is certainly in the right place with a six-strong female cast who are front and centre at all times, their male counterparts for once having to make do with far smaller roles as 'cheating husband' and 'beefcake love interest'. And although there are parts of the film that are pure fantasy and wish fulfillment, it does have at least one foot in some kind of recognisable reality, one where divorce is a reality and someone can express their sexuality (Carla is clearly bisexual) without it having to be a major talking point. Rating: WWW

Bad Moms: Consistently filthy laughs

Bad Moms is in cinemas now

WWWW - Wonderful
WWW - Worthwhile
WW - Watchable
W - Woeful

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