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In Bad Moms Mila Kunis plays an overachieving parent who has a terrible day that triggers her to reevaluate her lifestyle. Kathryne Hahn plays her devil-may-care friend; Kristen Bell essentially reprises her role from The Boss. Christina Applegate plays a villainous Stepford Wife; Jada Pinkett Smith plays her kinky kiss-ass sidekick. The directors of Bad Moms, Jon Lucas & Scott Moore, penned The Hangover, which was yet another raunchy but sentimental comedy about infantilized men in an outrageous situation. Although Bad Moms also presents most men as feckless lumps, it is more fresh than a Hangover movie because women get to take center stage. Yet Bad Moms has the same kind of style as The Hangover and merely swaps the boys for girls, like the most recent Ghostbusters. So unless you find dick jokes and slo-mo party montages set to loud music hilarious, the most resonant comedic aspect of Bad Moms may be its satire of helicopter-parenting and the high anxiety it wrecks on kids who shouldn’t be worried about getting into Harvard when they’re in the second grade. When the movie’s not joking it shifts tonally into an earnest mode, imparting lessons about perfectionism and good parenting. The talented Wanda Sykes has a cameo as a therapist.

By Alec Julian & Carrie White


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