Bad Moms Review: Deploy the soft filter lens

Chad White
Loves: Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate
Likes: Everyone else
Dislikes: Worthless cameos (even though they’re worthless to begin with)
Hates: Soft filters
 

Get your tits up! 

Women led comedies are few and far between which, in this day and age, causes an outcry of inequality and things of the like. But, when they finally do get a movie, women sink to the levels of “Hey, we can do man things too” and, most of the time, the movie doesn’t fair as well. Either way, a movie that tries too hard to be one thing ultimately doesn’t succeed at the topic it was trying to cover. This covers Bad Moms to the nth degree. It tries to do so much at one time that it suffers from an identity crisis. It struggles to fit romance into a raunchy comedy into a heartfelt manifesto about moms. But was that its original intention? 

Bad Moms stars Mila Kunis as an overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated Amy Mitchell whose family doesn’t love her like they should. After catching her husband Mike (David Walton) online cheating on her, Amy decides it’s time to be a bad mom. She employs this strategy of parenting with the help of new friends uptight stay at home mom Kiki (Kristen Bell) and oversexualized, Type A personality Carla (Kathryn Hahn), both of whom have their own issues to deal with. They band together to fight back against PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her two cronies Stacy (Jada Pinkett smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo). 

With the addition of two more sentences, the movie could’ve been summarized and spoiled simultaneously. That’s one of the major problems of Bad Moms; it’s just too cut and dry. Characters are one note. The plot follows a linear path. Jokes fall flat often. Everything more or less feels like Lifetime had its hand at doing a comedy movie. On top of that, casting seemed to end at the five stars it managed to garner. But none of them were used to their full potential. Mila Kunis feels uncomfortable as both a young mother and a lewd lead. Bell is equally miscast due to her prolific nature on House of Cards. The villains are just as simplistic, more so because there’s no chance for them to be expound upon. Hahn is the only one who seems at ease as her character is someone who delivers comedic lines with the bravado needed and she carried the rest of the cast.  

Direction was alright with mix and matched shots that seemed out of place. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore come from their last feature 21 & Over and it seems as if they hadn’t learned much. To add to that, the movie looks as if it were shot with a soft lens. If anything feels sexist about this whole deal it’s that (more on that below).But the writing was maybe a bit better if not more bland. No jokes stuck around too long and they didn’t stick out either. As said before, Bad Moms tried too hard to be over the top. The script also didn’t allow for good cameos nor did it make time for the beats it wanted to hit. Wendell Pierce and Wanda Sykes played some potentially joke landing characters who were wasted in scenes that were too short. Clarke Duke’s young, inexperienced CEO boss showed up twice and left no impact on the movie. Martha Stewart’s big part, though, did make for an entertaining few scenes.

Should you watch Bad Moms?

2016 has been a better year than most for comedy movies. Bad Moms stands above crap like Dirty Grandpa but falls when Keanu is in the conversation. With it being only one of two female driven comedies this year, Mother’s Day takes the coveted first spot (based on release) with Ghostbusters coming in second, Bad Moms instantly stands tall among the former. But its trihard script and straightforward characters do nothing to help one another. The movie is okay however it didn’t stand up to the crazy promise that the trailer posited.

Notes

  • Kathryn Hahn is a major movie/TV/comedy crush of mine. She’s great in everything. 
  • Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are cool guys. I’ve never met them but they seem that way. They’re the same ones that wrote Martin Lawrence’s attempt to head back to the silverscreen -- Rebound. Then they did some auxiliary Hangover stuff, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, the Change Up, and 21 & Over. Not the best rap sheet but at least they’re working. 
  • So here’s my issue with the soft filter thing. At first, I thought it was my eyes but then I realized my glasses were clean. It could’ve been where I was sitting but that doesn’t seem likely. Maybe it was the screen and projector? That doesn’t prove true because I’ve gone to see dozens upon dozens of movies at this place and they’ve never, ever had this issue. They have 4K screens! So I came to the conclusion a little less than halfway through that Moore and Lucas shot this movie with a soft lens. The edges aren’t as sharp and, for the entire movie, it looked as if I was squinting the entire time. I don’t know if there was anything behind this style (to help the women look more appealing? To make it more accessible to the intended female audience?). Whatever the case, it was distracting. Maybe it affected why I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I thought I would… 
  • ...or maybe I didn’t have too good of a time because of the loud ass foreign family behind me. Full sentences. Screaming over the movie AS IF IT WAS THE ONE BOTHERING YOU. This is why I hate people. 
  • Kunis’ daughter in the movie played by Oona Laurence got the most of the screen time out of the two kid actors. Later she basically became the only child with the script essentially forgetting her brother Emjay Anthony.
  • Wikipedia says Kesha was in this. WHERE IS SHE???
  •  There’s no mention of Jay Hernandez in the review because that’s exactly how the movie treated him. He was only used for the women to oogle at. He had four scenes: an introduction with blatant exposition, a bar date, sex date, and random ending kiss. Although, it could be an allegory as to how women have been treated as sex objects in male based comedic movies of year’s past.