Bad Moms Movie Review
"Bad" has two meaning: a) to be a badass; and b) to be bad. Bad Moms is just bad. Despite starring a solid cast and featuring a surefire premise, Bad Moms fails to be nothing more than an empty promise, a barely crude, barely funny tease of something better that doesn’t exist.
Bad Moms is from the writers of The Hangover, which sounds impressive until you look at their resume and realize that The Hangover is the one good movie they’ve developed (note: they didn’t direct it). The one-hit wonders have now wasted the talent of Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell--all funny women who have to desperately scrounge for laughs.
I am neither a mother nor a woman so I don’t naturally fall into the target audience for Bad Moms, but I do know funny, and I know I laughed very little while watching this film, which is now on Blu-ray. My wife, who is also not a mother but is, thankfully, a woman, was super excited to watch the movie, but within half an hour she was sitting on the couch watching cat videos while I strained to hear the television over her cat-induced giggling, hoping without hope to hear a joke that kills.
Alas, Bad Moms is nothing more than passable entertainment--even though it isn’t funny, it isn’t completely painful to watch, either. Kunis is likable enough, and Hahn, given more screen time than she usually does, steals every scene she’s in (Bell, on the other hand, basically phones her role in, though she is easily left with the least interesting character of the threesome). And in fairness, Bad Moms has a few mildly funny moments, though these usually consist of slow-motion scenes of "bad moms" spilling cereal on a grocery store floor or dancing while drinking wine.
Because, in the eyes of writing-directing team Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, being a bad mom simply means saying “fuck it” and not going to PTA meetings.
Bad Moms is rated R, but it barely feels PG-13. Compared to other “bad” movies like Bad Santa and Bad Teacher (which wasn’t very good, but funnier than this), Bad Moms has no edge and gives no indication that the filmmakers gave any more thought to the concept than, “Moms are going to eat this movie up regardless of whether it’s any good.”
A little icing on the cake: Christina Applegate plays the cliche easy-to-hate villain (i.e. the militarized mom and PTA president) who of course becomes likable at the end (noooooo!) and Jada Pinkett Smith is given a few minutes of screen time because otherwise the movie would be just about a bunch of white moms, and after all someone has to spout out forgettably stereotypical “black woman” lines. Right? Right???
Bad Moms isn’t a dreadful watch, but it is way more bad than badass: it isn’t funny, it wastes the comedic talent involved, and it fails to come anywhere close to what this movie could have been.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.