Hot Take: Ridiculous (in a good way) and hilarious (in an even better way). It’s not perfect but Bad Moms is that funny summer comedy you’ve been waiting for.
Comedy is an odd, deeply personal experience. In the theater, it can be largely affected by the crowd you see it with. My viewing of Bad Moms played to a room full of slightly intoxicated men and women who all seemed to hit the Regal Movie Theater bar before taking in the preview night showing. For viewing purposes, this played into the movie perfectly as the audience (myself included) was laughing loudly from beginning to end.
After separating from the viewing experience and really giving Bad Moms some thought, it had problems. At times, it appears Bad Moms will be edgy and go places you don’t expect. As the film progresses, it morphs into a more conventional movie that is somewhat predictable. Fortunately, the first act is so strong and Mila Kunis as Amy along with her two friends Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) are such an electric trio, the film survives its downhill decent into predictability.
The one thing to stress about Bad Moms is the comedy. It’s very funny. Kunis is incredibly likable as a mom who goes off the rails and says enough is enough. Bell as the single stay-at-home mom who has to check with hubby every step of the way before going out is her usual excellently funny self. Hahn’s over-the-top, sexually charged single mom is so outrageous there were moments that her lines were inaudible due to the laughter which erupted from the theater.
Not to waffle back and forth here but another knock on the film is there’s a genuine feeling of a lack of insight from the writers. Considering this comes from the same team that wrote The Hangover and 21 And Over (Jon Lucas and Scott Moore), that actually shouldn’t be surprising. Again the film survives this through some ridiculously off-the-wall antics that help suspend any real intellectual analysis of the movie until well after the credits roll.
Bad Moms is proof positive that laughter is contagious. There’s a good chance if I sat in an empty theater on a late Wednesday with no other movie patrons present and had time to think about the movie, I might not have cared for it as much as I did. There’s an even better chance I wouldn’t have laughed nearly as hard as I did. However, that wasn’t the case and, for what it’s worth, Bad Moms ended up being arguably the funniest film of the summer season so far.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- The Riffs
The trio of Kunis, Bell and Hahn go on some fairly brilliant comedic riffs that leave the audience and themselves inflicted with uncontrollable laughter. All three actresses play to their strengths and score major points as they deliver some of the funniest scenes of the summer. You’ll never look at a hoodie the same way again.
- Gender Blending
While 2016 has been a weak year for comedy, it has been a strong year for women in comedy with Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Ghostbusters and now Bad Moms. Of the three, Bad Moms is the most successful at being funny and gets extra points for focusing on the story and never takes the low road with gender bashing as none of the characters feel stereotypical.
- The Credits
While feeling completely out of place, the cast paying homage to their mothers during the credits is actually pretty touching.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- A Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing
In the opening act, you get the feeling this movie will go places you don’t expect it to. As the film reaches its apex, you realize the writers/directors planned a more conventional route all along. This keeps Bad Moms from being great but it is still hilariously good.