Wednesday, December 21, 2016

BAD MOMS (2016)



Written & Directed By: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore 
Cinematography By: Jim Denault 
Editor: Emma E. Hickox & James Thomas 


Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Annie Mumolo, Jay Hernandez, Clark Duke, Wendell Pierce, Oona Laurence, Emjay Anthony, David Walton, Wanda Sykes


Amy has a seemingly perfect life - a great marriage, over-achieving kids, a beautiful home and a career. However, she's overworked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities - going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence - putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.

I am not really the target audience for this film, but I had fun watching it. It's raunchy and funny. Even though it gets lost in itself at times. It guides it's way back and keeps it's eyes on the prize and remembers it's heart and story.

The film ends up plays by as a suburban middle class fantasy escape. That involves a lot of first world problems overall.

The film humanizes the characters good and bad. Eventually after presenting some as purely one dimensional for most of the film.

The humor is bawdy which isn’t surprising considering the Writers/Directors are also the team who wrote the first HANGOVER movie. Using their talents here to equal the playing field giving women a chance to be funny and find themselves in increasingly silly and taboo situations that lead to plenty of laughs.

The male characters are treated how female characters are usually treated in films. They are good looking and sturdy or just douches and maybe assholes with a little substance when needed. Not too much challenging with the dimensions. The good, the bad and the stupid. Yet somewhat decent in the end, but not without a Comeuppance.

Mila Kunis, does what is required in the role. As she usually does. Though unfortunately leaves no impression. She just fills out what is required of it. It She still looks too young, but does what is needed for the role. This feels the most animated of any of the roles that she has ever played before, Maybe as she is allowed to play a fully realized character and be more let in in the fun. Not just the sexpot or letting her looks define her role for than talent. Though as usual in films like these. It's hard to believe her character has a hard time getting dates.

The project was originally setup at Paramount Pictures with Leslie Mann set to star and Judd Apatow attached to produce.

No one seems to note that Kathryn Hahn's character might actually be a bad mom. There is nothing wrong with dating or even being on the prowl for sex, but her character seems to spend most of her time trying to get into them and seems rather negligent. Which would be fine if we are supposed to think of this as pure comedy, but then at times the film wants us to think seriously.

Kathryn Hahn hands down steals the show. She is a comedic dynamo. Who shows no fear and gets the best lines. She has the most broad character and yet still manages to showcase her heart.

Though I do wonder why Jada Pinkett-Smith is in the film. She plays one of the cronies of Christina Applegate's villain but it is such a thankless role. There is not much for her to do or scenes for her to play. Nor is there anything attractive about the role. At least not shown on screen. As it doesn't even register as a cameo it is too big for that as she is in throughout the film. That I wonder if her part got cut out in editing. As she seems to just stand around and give little commentary. Then again you wonder exactly what happened to her career as she has enough starring roles under he belt to take better and bigger roles than this. Maybe she just likes the script?

The film goes where you expect it to. It is also nice to see Kristen bell play a role that is more to her strengths. As she still hasn't quite gotten another role since VERONICA MARS to run with. Especially playing an adult character.

As this is one of the few actually decent female oriented comedies. That revolves around more actresses instead of comedians. Usually using their own skills and comedic personas.

The film is definitely a crowd pleaser. Some of it falls flat, but in the end the film is enjoyable.

GRADE: C+

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