Without seeing it, it’s easy to silo Bad Moms with any comedy that comes out at the moment. From watching the trailer, it looks to be in the same mould as any Seth Rogen, Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler movie, and whilst you may go to see it, you’ll laugh a few times, leave the cinema and not buy the Blu-ray.
That perception is hard to shake off as even now that I’ve seen Bad Moms, I’m questioning how much I SHOULD have enjoyed it despite the fact that I was laughing hard all the way through.
You see, when we talk about balance in this generation of comedies, Bad Moms gets it spot on. I find myself feeling that it has no right to be as good as it was because it’s a 2016 comedy and the genre generally needs to take a long hard look at itself.
But there we have it. Bad Moms is a brilliant movie. From the opening scene to the last, I found myself laughing all the way through whilst understanding the very simple message it was trying to deliver. It’s a message that speaks to everyone rather than just parents and because of that, it’s a resounding success.
It’s not just a movie about 3 mothers trying to break the shackles of parenthood. It’s a movie about rebellion and going against what society wants us to be or do. And that’s it. It’s that simple.
We’ve had comedies that have tried to do that and failed in the past, normally under the weight of its ego but Bad Moms has assembled its cast wonderfully well. Mila Kunis has been under the tutelage of Seth MacFarlane for a number of years now and Bad Moms has a very MacFarlane feel about it. It’s brashy without being over the top or cringey and it isn’t afraid to laugh about some topics that still feel a little taboo for mainstream movies to tackle.
Whilst our threesome of Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell raise the most laughs, Christina Applegate is the glue that keeps everything together. She’s a bit of a heavyweight in the comedy world and while she plays the titanic bad guy in Bad Moms, it’s a character that’s overshadowed by our 3 heroines. Without Applegate though, it just wouldn’t work.
The main theme and comedy aside, movie structure demands a bit of fluff and while I’d normally find it a bit predictable and cheesy, it wraps everything together really nicely. Don’t get me wrong, it’s your classic formula of:
Something goes wrong.
Lead character makes a drastic change.
Lead character thinks that drastic change may not have been so good after all.
Something goes right.
Lead character strikes a balance and lives happily ever after.
It’s simple, keeps every movie goer happy and I’m not ashamed to admit that I was almost annoyed when I thought they’d just abandoned the fluffy bits toward the end.
While we’re talking about the end, Bad Moms has the nicest credit sequence I’ve seen in such a long time. After laughing all the way through the movie, I left the cinema with a genuine smile on my face. Not just because I’d been laughing for an hour or so, or because I’d been given a warm, fuzzy feeling after the credits, but because (to coin a phrase from Dan) I’d had a 5 star time.
4* - Bad Moms make bad comedies look bad.