Overworked, underappreciated and just fed up with it all? You’re not the only one! We witness that first hand in Bad Moms, the comedy about three moms who are stressed to the point they are ready to snap.
Mila Kunis stars as Amy, a mom, who is always late as she struggles to balance her part-time job with her home life. (Which includes a barely involved husband, played by David Milton.) Amy is an overworked mom, who single-handly drives her two kids to and from school, to all their extra-curricular activities, gets all the grocery shopping done, cooks, cleans and is a part of the over-demanding school PTA. She’s the embodiment of every mother who does it all: career, home, school… and gives up their life to do it.
After a particularly long day, Amy is late to a bake-sale PTA meeting held by the tyrannical PTA president, Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate). As a result of her tardiness she gets volunteered to be a bake-sale police, giving her one more responsibility the endless to-do list of her life. For Amy, this is the last straw. She decides that she has had enough. Everything she does is thankless and endless – to what end? Amy calmly snaps, quits the PTA, and heads to the nearest bar.
At this point, I was cheering for Amy. Her boss and husband are unsupportive losers. Her kids are overwhelming her. The PTA is over-the-top. This mom is doing nothing for herself. Clearly, Amy needs some serious boundary evaluation!
In the bar, Amy meets Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and begins drinking with her. Carla is a strong, outspoken single mom of a blundering baseball player and doesn’t care AT ALL what people think of her. She is the complete opposite of Amy in every way – the exact thing she needed to meet in that moment.
The two are joined by Kiki (Kristen Bell) the sweet, awkward, overworked mother of four. Several drinks in, Amy and Kiki see the temptation of not being so responsible for absolutely every aspect of their lives. The three ladies decide to ditch the responsibilities of their lives and take a break from it all. They decide to be Bad Moms for a change.
The personality of these ladies really brings the comedy to the table. We get to see Amy go from a mom who is trying to keep her one-sided marriage together, doing her sons homework, and being the only adult in a part-time office to a bad ass mom. Amy kicks her husband out for cheating online. She forces her kids to do their own projects. She takes her overwhelmed daughter on a relaxing spa day. She tells her boss she’s not coming in to the meetings she’s not getting paid for. Most importantly, she finally gets to take a deep breath and enjoy a mimosa with her new friends. Amy does what we all want to do – she gives up on being an adult that makes an effort.
After quitting the PTA and showing up to the bake sale with store bought donut holes (No gluten! No sugar! No store bought anything allowed!) Gwendolyn is O-V-E-R her.
Gwendolyn knows the best way to get at any parent is through their kids. With the help of Stacy (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Vicky (Annie Mumolo), she attempts to get Amy’s daughter into deep trouble with her school – and the law. Amy, infuriated with Gwendolyn’s petty reign, decides she’s going to have her revenge. Amy is going to take down Gwendolyn as PTA president.
The danger of moms competing with one another to be the “best” is certainly felt throughout the film. Being a parent can be isolating, and it can feel like parents develop their own version of playground cliques. Although from the outside it looks like Amy is simply fighting for her kids, her actions start to break down the walls that the women have built around their parenting styles.
Carla’s confidence building and Kiki’s over-enthusiastic support are the perfect catalyst for Amy to take Gwendolyn head-on and run for PTA president. Amy is thrown into a war with Gwendolyn – a much bigger one than she ever asked for. In her efforts to protect her daughter and take over the PTA, Amy accidently abandons all of the qualities that her children, especially her daughter, admired so much. Although being a “bad mom” is fun for the women, Amy must take the steps to build appropriate boundaries in her life to keep the respect of her children.
This film definitely hits a nerve when it comes to parents who feel like they need to be Pinterest-perfect – and evidently resonates with many moms based on the huge success that the film has had. Bad Moms helped me feel like I was not alone in the parent-pressure. It also made me consider the other mamas in my life who might be experiencing the same frustrations and demands as me – and in effect, be a little nicer next time I’m dropping my little one off at daycare.