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Byron Shire
August 2, 2021

Bad Moms – Cinema Review

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If you were to compile a textbook on how to write a screenplay by numbers, this boisterous frippery would be among the first entries. It’s not bad, but if you don’t belong to the demographic at which it is aimed – ie put-upon, stressed, time-poor mothers – you might not get off on it as much as that target audience. It succeeded brilliantly with the ladies surrounding me (certainly it was better received than the very ordinary Ab Fab), so who am I to judge? Amy (Mila Kunis) is flat chat 24/7, working long underpaid hours while looking after her two kids (Oona Laurence is terrific as the bespectacled daughter who is shattered when omitted from the school soccer team) – not that her gorgeous looks are ever affected. She hits the wall when splitting up with her deadbeat husband and decides to put herself first for a change. Pursuing this radical lifestyle change, she finds allies in the tizzy Kikki (Christen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), a hard-drinking broad with, of course, a heart of gold. There is a devilishly handsome and kind widower in the mix (California is obviously teeming with these eligible blokes, and they always seem to be raising a cute little girl)… What? You think he and Amy will get together?… The antagonist is Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate), a rich-bitch Nurse Ratchet type who is head of the PTA. The story follows its well-worn path as Amy challenges Gwendolyn’s presidency. The expletive-loaded humour is more or less Seth Rogen in skirts, including a discussion about penises that had my neighbours rolling in the aisles (what is it about knobs, anyway?). The movie stays afloat because, despite yourself, you really do want Amy to stick it up Gwendolyn, and you never doubt that it will happen. As a vehicle for the empowerment of women, it goes only so far – the sisters can do it for themselves, alright, but there is a nagging doubt that Amy’s more satisfying achievement will be to snare the widowed Mr Right.   


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