Darren does not make for the ideal audience participant for Mila Kunis comedy Bad Moms, but then who does?
The great movies all have something in common; the movies that critics and audiences alike always talk about. Despite the difference in genres all these movies excel at one thing: connecting with an audience. Making the audience belong to them no matter the individual’s background. Bad Moms is not a great movie. And that’s ok.
Being a not-great movie can actually be a lot more freeing; you have less responsibility for the audience as a mass and more for the niche that you are aiming for. So as a young, white, mostly straight male with no dependents, this movie was not aimed at me. And that’s good. So much of cinema panders to this demographic and to have a movie that is unashamedly not for me is a relief. This isn’t a great movie but it is certainly a good one.
Amy Mitchell is a modern mom, fed up with the thankless job she does, both at home at work, she catches her husband cheating on her and decides to rebel. She stops trying to be this perfect mom and in the process upsets the Queen of the local PTA endangering her family’s success at school. Can she take the fight to her, and save her children’s lives?
Bad Moms knows what it is right off the bat. Sticking with a very cliché and obvious plot that should surprise exactly no one who has ever seen a movie before, it’s filled to the rafters with funny women, dick jokes and a hefty helping of pro-mom messages. It doesn’t try to be overly clever or to say anything profound. The message is simply no one is perfect, even mothers.
There are things I dislike about the movie; for one, it has little character development for the rest of the cast. Despite trying to show a varied spectrum of motherhood it is instead exceedingly narrow, and the male figures in the movie are either absolute idiots or in one case a wet dream personified with every stereotype the writers could think of to make him appeal to mom. Finally, the message to me rings a little hollow, not having the oomph that it thinks it has, predictably delivered and almost tacked on to a movie that has a message but never seems to commit to it as much as it could in lieu of dick jokes and a wildly inaccurate description of how uncircumcised penises work.
This isn’t a great movie, focussed far too narrowly on motherhood and a very small spectrum of the people who are mothers.
But this wasn’t a movie for me. I am not its intended audience and if you are, then the constant barrage of humour mixed with a lot of irreverence, unrestrained libido, and a loud motherhood empowerment message will be perfect for you.
Bringing your own mother to watch it is highly recommended especially with a surprisingly sweet after credit scene that captures what the movie is trying to say. Beyond the dick jokes at least.