Not ‘Bad’ At All



Trying to juggle her family responsibilities with her career, Amy (Mila Kunis) is overworked and tired. Along with two other stressed-out moms (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn), Amy stops trying to be perfect and lets loose. Given that this film comes from the brains behind The Hangover, we think it seems a little tame, but we’d see it.

Bad Moms opens in wide release July 29.

JAMES: When I saw the title, I was expecting a mom driving by a school and slowing down just enough for her son to roll out. But a bad mom, in this movie’s opinion, is not going to a PTA meeting, and going to the movies and eating whipped cream from the bottle. This, from the writers of The Hangover.

JAIMIE: I dig it. I like that it’s about moms struggling against the idea of being a perfect mom, able to do everything. Motherhood sounds scary and the worst, and I plan on messing up all the time if I ever choose to procreate. The opening scene, when Christina Applegate and the other PTA moms are judging Mila Kunis for leaving her kids all day while she is at work is relatable. I would be that mom. Am I supposed to feel bad about it?

JAMES: I liked Christina Applegate’s character the most. “She got her sadness all over me,” she says as Kristen Bell strolls past. She knocks a six-tiered cupcake stand out of the hands of another lady as she walks by. She’s the head of the PTA, and I bet her dark secret is she never had any kids of her own. I guess I’m more interested in the socio-paths in movies like this.


NICOLE: When Kristen Bell says that it’s impossible to be a good mom, I can see how that can resonate.

PAIGE: Wait, so what do the PTA moms do if they judge Mila Kunis for working full time … and Kristen Bell for being a stay-at-home mom? Do they just work part-time? These are the big motherhood questions that are going unanswered here.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, I think they were trying to call out the way that moms may sometimes judge each other for their life choices, no matter what those choices are. Either you’re doing too much by juggling a career and kids, or you’re not doing anything by being a stay-at-home mom. There is no way to win.

PAIGE: Are we all OK with the irony that a film about motherhood is being written by the pens behind The Hangover … i.e., two guys?

JAMES: The synopsis for this movie says it’s a “new comedy from the grateful husbands and devoted fathers who wrote The Hangover…” Somehow, I don’t think the target audience for this movie is the same as its titular characters. It’s basically just a pat on the back. Way to go, fellas.

NICOLE: This movie kind of reminds me how afraid I am to have kids, and also fearing that I’ll suck at it and not raise them right. At least the moms in the movie are TRYING to be bad moms. I also doubt I’ll be the mom going to PTA meetings, unless those meetings have alcohol.

JAIMIE: I won’t stop drinking just because I become a mom. Not irresponsibly, but like, won’t I need it?

CHRISTINA: The trailer seems very focused on the party aspect, but I feel like this movie has a chance to say something about motherhood and multiple responsibilities and the pressures put on women. So I hope that comes through in the movie. We have all these examples of man-boys behaving badly, so it’s nice when we can see women portrayed as more than a nagging girlfriend.

PAIGE: When you consider that Ghostbusters also missed the boat on “saying something significant about women” lately, I’m not holding my breath that a Hangover-penned movie is going to be the revelation we all needed. I’m feeling cynical this week.

JAIMIE: Clearly, though, this movie probably isn’t trying to say anything too significant. It is written by the same guys as The Hangover, after all. Just gotta take it for what it is.

PAIGE: I am kind of tired of the whole “freedom entails being able to par-tay” motif that has defined a number of (films) this year — Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Dirty Grandpa, Neighbors 2, etc. (Is Zac Efron in this movie too? These trends indicate he should be.) Because you can’t be free to be yourself and have your own dreams unless those dreams are to chug bottles of wine?

JAIMIE: Maybe my dream is to just chug a bottle of wine. It seems very ideal these days.