Movie #10 2022: Bad Moms (2016)

It was part of my agenda today to commit to a slightly longer, critically-acclaimed movie. I considered several Oliver Stone dramas: his epic (and epically lengthy) JFK, Oscar-winning Wall Street and the violent but largely celebrated Natural Born Killers. I almost went for Steve McQueen‘s seminal work, 12 Years A Slave (which I still haven’t seen) and then I thought about maybe watching the Bond movie that started all Bond movies, Dr. No. What did I go for instead? Trashy, classless, foul-mouthed comedy, Bad Moms. And I don’t regret a thing.

With an all-star cast, Bad Moms first (dis)graced our screens in 2016 and actually did rather well at the box office. Raking in almost $184 million off a $20 million budget, I’d say it surprised most people. What’s it about? A group of mothers in the Chicago suburbs who are tired of trying to be everywhere at once. When it all gets too much, three of them band together to become ‘Bad Moms’, and focus more on themselves than on their pre-pubescent offspring.

There’s no other way to begin this review than to point out its leading ladies. Kathryn HahnChristina ApplegateJada Pinkett SmithAnnie MumoloKristen Bell? Come on. It’s official. This is my dream cast and I will not apologise. 

Sooooo… This movie sucks. And I also loved it. Does it pass the six laugh test? Absolutely. Granted, most of the times I laughed were because of either Kathryn Hahn or Annie Mumolo, but it was really nice to see the “buddy comedy” flipped on its head. Bad Moms is almost like the The Hangover for women (and especially mothers) aged 30+ and I salute that. It’s almost impossible to tell that the script was written by two dudes, if I’m honest. Some well-crafted jokes are sure to get everyone laughing, even if, like me, you don’t have kids.

Coming off more like a long episode of a TV show, there’s not really much plot to speak of. It’s loose, sporadic, flimsy… and yet it’s still entertaining. Of course this is probably due to the charisma of its stars, but you can just tell they had so much fun making this movie, regardless of whether or not it actually has anything to say. What do I say? Sometimes witnessing joy is all you need. 

Alas, it all starts to lose a bit of steam around the one hour mark and could have done with being a little shorter. The entire storyline with Amy’s unfaithful husband was kind of boring and easily removable, but I guess we can’t win ‘em all. Those party scenes though? That’s the God damn party I wanna be at. 

You can probably tell that I had a fun time with this, even if the start of this entry began with some scathing words. I’d be surprised if even one straight man felt the same way, but then I guess it’s… not made for them! (Still a rarity, by the way.) Maybe the inclusion of Arizona Cardinals star JJ Watt was an attempt at drawing the dudes in? Anyway, I’ll admit that I won’t remember much about it when the day is over, but I had a good couple of hours nevertheless.

Weirdly, the absolute best part comes with its end credits, but not in a bad way. You see, the credits come complete with the actresses speaking alongside their real life mothers, and that makes the whole thing so worth it.

Bad Moms is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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