The writers behind The Hangover wrote and directed this comedy about a trio of women who – wait for it – go off the rails and do outrageous, hilarious things. As opposed to their other films in which men do the same thing, or college students do, or Jason Bateman outrageously body swaps with Ryan Reynolds. Thankfully, Bad Moms is a more enjoyable watch than its pedigree or predictable subject matter would suggest, generally successful at earning audience laughs as it negotiates the terrain of being an averagely ok comedy you’re likely to have forgotten before leaving the carpark.
More than ‘The Hangover but for girls’, the casting, tone, and surprisingly successful female perspective help Bad Moms move beyond basic retread. Yes, the trio of leads are a familiar Frankenstein’s monster – the ‘normal’ one (Mila Kunis), the odd, uptight one (Kristen Bell), the cah-razy one (Kathryn Hahn) – but they all dig deep, fully committing to comedic excess when required, while also bringing more to their characters than the mere basics. Christina Applegate also proves eminently watchable as the uptight villain of the piece, relishing her chance to play bossy, bitchy, and occasionally bonkers.
Do we need not one, but two slow-mo sequences of wasted excess set to rumbling bass? Probably not, but Bad Moms defies you to keep a straight face throughout these generic moments and the many other examples of things we’ve seen before that pepper the film. Some tropes – like the film’s candidate for doofus husband/partner of the year – succeed admirably, while elsewhere gags work just fine, thanks, but little more. With few clangers and little ambition to carve its own niche, the results are satisfying enough to recommend.
‘Bad Moms’ Movie Times