“In this new comedy from the grateful husbands and devoted fathers who wrote “The Hangover”, Amy [Mila Kunis] has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However she’s over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn [Christina Applegate] and her clique of devoted perfect moms” (STX Entertainment).
“Bad Moms” is not a good film. It’s lazy, and as Matt Brunson of “Creative Loafing” simply puts it: “our dear mothers deserve better”. What’s worse than the film, though, is that it’s selling itself as a gift to feminism. In one of the previews shown in theaters, Mila Kunis makes an introduction for the trailer, praising its female cast. However, the movie is practically anti-feminist. I won’t go as far as saying that “Bad Moms” is taking women a step backwards, but it’s definitely not pushing them in the right direction. So, for all the following reasons, I beg of you: do not call “Bad Moms” a feminist movie!
The main character undermines the capabilities of real world mothers.
I know a lot of mothers who raise their children and work full time. But, for some reason our dear, sweet Amy of “Bad Moms” can’t even raise her kids and work part time – which doesn’t really make anyone feel sympathetic for her. Also, working part time doesn’t mean you need to make bad decisions, like eating spaghetti while driving. We all know that women can do both – it’s no longer the 1950s and it’s easily conceivable that mothers work full time. So, don’t tell us to regard this woman who just can’t do both as an ideal standard.
The main conflict is cattiness – a juvenile stereotype of women.
There is a stigma around women: that they’re “fake” and “bitchy”. Except, I haven’t really heard this
stigma since high school – until “Bad Moms”, that is. Christina Applegate’s “perfect mom” is fake; one minute saying of Amy, “wow, such a hard worker,” and then the next moment deciding she must be destroyed. Essentially, this movie is taking a group of moms, and making them act like high school girls. There are cliques – the “popular chicks” (Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Annie Mumolo) and the “losers” (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn). These cliques clash over the pettiest of things, like, (good lord!) somebody bringing store-bought doughnut holes to a bake sale. Are you kidding?
Really, it’s not a movie that appreciates moms, it’s making fun of moms. You can almost hear the guys in the theater thinking, oh, how cute! They’re having a bake sale! I bet the husbands are off doing the “real jobs”.
There’s an utter lack of women on the creative team.
News flash: having a film that almost exclusively stars women does not make the movie equally staffed; because everybody knows that the people on screen only play a small part in the making of a film. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore wrote and directed the movie, with the production crew as well being almost exclusively male. Don’t say you couldn’t find any women to work on the creative team, because that’s a load of bull. As an added feature to this article, here’s a small handful of top notch female comedy writers who could have improved the “Bad Moms” script:
- Tina Fey (“Mean Girls”)
- Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”)
- Carrie Brownstein (“Portlandia”)
- Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids”)
- Mindy Kahling (“The Office”)
- Liz Meriwether (“New Girl”)
- Michelle Wolf (“Late Night with Seth Meyers”)
- Becky Mann (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”)
I just wanted to point out that when making a movie targeting female audiences, it’s helpful to have one or two ladies on your crew.
So gentlemen, next time you want to make a “feminist” film, try getting some women involved.