Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Not a Bad Movie

‘Bad Moms’ is billed by its marketing team as a “hilarious new comedy”. Not one to easily fall prey to marketing hyperbole, I was skeptical, but anxious to see this light summer movie nonetheless. I expected it to be a nice break from the delta summer heat and thought it might be good for a few chuckles. I was delightfully surprised.

‘Bad Moms’ is a good movie with heart. It gives audiences more than cheap laughs and a contrite message about motherhood. Sprinkled in amidst the drinking, and lewd “un-mom” like behavior this movie packed some powerful messages. Messages about more than motherhood. This movie is a cinematic statement on what it means to “succeed” in our society. What it means to be a good mom, a good student, a good employee, a good person. It makes us take a second look at the ideal suburban, soccer mom with over-scheduled kids. It makes us think about our schools and what it is we want our kids to get out of them. Is it enough that they be able to ace a standardized test? It makes us think about the high pressure to perform, to be better than others. And ultimately the impossibility of perfection.

There were cheap laughs, but also some good ones, (“The history channel was right, you’re generation is the greatest generation”).  There were also solid performances from its stars, Miley Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn. But when you take in this summer treat, watch for Jada Pinkett Smith who always delivers, and savor the exploits of the nemesis to Kunis’ character, Christina Applegate, who is a solid comedic actress.  

In my estimation, ‘Bad Moms’ demonstrates of few of the absurdities of our current generation gaps. Such as, millennials telling their bosses about their night before exploits, or skateboarding around the office. Along with their fondness for trying to look interesting when they are not really interesting at all. But then we really can’t judge others by their looks, as the characters in this movie discovered. The person who appears perfect, who seems to have every aspect of their life in order, may be trying desperately hard to hold the very fragile pieces of their life together. Perhaps the biggest message of all from ‘Bad Moms’, is simply not to judge others period.

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