“Bad Moms” highlights are really low lights
Published 8:35 pm, Saturday, August 13, 2016
Believing that you’re the absolute center of your child’s universe can lead to helicopter parenting — and being a smothering mother causes incredible stress.
Just ask exhausted 32 year-old Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis). Living in suburban Chicago with a man-child husband (David Walton) and two spoiled preteens (Oona Lawrence, Emjay Anthony), she’s juggling the demands of family and working with millennials at a hip coffee company.
When she catches her husband having cyber-sex with a naked woman, she orders him out of the house. And as if she wasn’t frazzled enough, Amy’s being systematically terrorized by fascistic PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her malicious minions (Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo).
Monitoring the upcoming bake sale, Gwendolyn cautions against using essential ingredients like butter, sugar, eggs and nuts, threatening police action for any infraction of her dietary rules.
Desperate, Amy dives into a bar, where she’s joined by two other burnt-out moms: slovenly, outspoken divorcee Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell), the beleaguered, meek-and-mousy mother-of-four.
"We’re killing ourselves to be perfect and it’s making us insane," Amy wails. Determined to be "bad moms," they defiantly trash a super-market to Icona Pop’s "I Love It."
The next day, Amy stops hovering over her kids’ homework, refuses to make them breakfast and claims the keys to her husband’s vintage, red muscle car.
Boozy brunches with Carla and Kiki lead to an invigorating encounter with Jesse (Jay Hernandez), a hunky widower whose daughter attends the same school.
The highlight is a crude sequence in which Carla uses Kiki’s hoodie to demonstrate how to handle an uncircumcised penis — that must be seen to be believed. And crucial to the closing credits are unexpected cameos of the actresses and their real-life mothers.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Bad Moms" is a surprisingly satiric 6. Its intrinsic feminism is a lot funnier than either "Absolutely Fabulous" or "Ghostbusters."