By Ali Bush ‘19
Photo courtesy of Ritz Cinema.
Bad moms” (2016) is a raunchy new comedy with an all-star cast that hilariously explores different kinds of mothers and the expectations they face.
The film’s title speaks for a generation of moms who have deemed themselves to be “bad moms” because they aren’t able to live up to today’s high expectations of being an all-organic, working supermom. “Bad Moms” is the ultimate rejection of the “mommy wars” of this generation, defying the judgment women face about who can make a healthier lunch for their child. In place of this scrutiny competition, moms in this film come together commiserate have raging parties. Amongst the gloom and overall pessimism, I faced this week, “Bad Moms” certainly brightened my day and made me want to call my mom and thank her for being such a “bad mom.”
The main heroine Amy Mitchell is a successful working mother who is underpaid at her job and overworked at home. While she strives to be a supermom that this generation has come to expect, she finds that it is impossible to be an involved mother, efficient employee, and happy individual.
After a particularly bad day, she “quits” and devotes herself to being a bad mom. She joins up with Kiki (Kristen Bell), an insecure stay at home mom and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), a divorcee and a truly bad mom who strives to spend as little time coddling her son as possible. These three friends decide to start spending more time doing things they enjoy and less time at bake sales and PTA meetings. Eventually, their new-found system of hands-off mothering is met with opposition from uptight PTA president Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate). Amy decides to run for PTA President in an attempt to replace Gwendolyn and the high expectations she places on the school’s mothers and to spread her belief in simply “doing less” as a mom.
The film does follow all the expected conventions of a blockbuster film. It’s predictable and simple, yet uplifting. The most disappointing aspect of the film is the fact that it was written and directed by men, which is sometimes extremely apparent in the dialogue. While this aspect is upsetting, I am still extremely happy to see a film that recognizes the pains that women go through to keep their family life and professional lives in tact. It refreshingly portrays moms and women in general as raunchy, bad-mouthed, and above all human. The film’s characters do not define themselves solely as mothers, but as combinations of professionals, wives, friends, and above all women, something that is often lost in many films that classify women solely as either mothers, employees, or sex objects.
Lastly, the film rejects the scrutiny and pressure placed both on moms and their children to eat healthier, play more sports, and prepare for college sooner. Instead, the film portrays the exact opposite in which moms spend time thinking more of themselves and the result makes for a hilarious movie. It reminds us that amongst the competition and stress we face in our life, what really matters is taking care of ourselves and taking time to be with loved ones. The movie reveals that its title is totally misleading because truly every mom trying her best is a supermom.