Bad Moms (2016)
Directed by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore • Written by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
With Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Annie Mumolo and Jay Hernandez
The writing-directing duo of Jon Lucas and Scott Moore re-team for their second feature together, Bad Moms, a larger than life US comedy about an overburdened, under-appreciated ‘mom’, Amy (Mila Kunis), struggling to live up to the model of the perfect mother and housewife. Try as she might, her ruined kids accuse her of hating them, while her slacker husband prefers the company of online porn. After a dramatic blow out at a prissy school PTA meeting, Amy gets drunk in a bar with Carla (Kathyrn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell) – together they trash a supermarket, agreeing to rebel and enjoy some freedom.
After a breezy introduction and a few early laughs, Lucas & Moore establish an adolescent tone somewhere between The Hangover and Bridesmaids, as dick jokes abound. So at home in the acerbic world of Seth MacFarlane, Mila Kunis is a competent lead, though she surrenders all the funniest lines to Kathryn Hahn, whose aggressive, straight-talking acid tongue comes at us like a cross between Caitlyn Jenner and Samantha from Sex and the City.
After around 40-mins, the central joke begins to dissolve as the movie creaks towards its final act, by which point it opts to ditch any early glimmers of subversion in favour of becoming a hackneyed regurgitation of formulaic production line comedies. While the co-penned script has a smattering of laughs and the talented cast make a decent fist of it, the underlying narrartive grows ever more tedious as the running time clocks up.