NEW YORK (CNS) — As jointly written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the suburban-set comedy “Bad Moms” (STX) has some valid points to make about the challenges of modern parenting.
Yet their script’s preoccupation with jokes about how kids get here in the first place overshadows the positive aspects of the duo’s film.
More damagingly, they also send an ambiguous message about marital fidelity that viewers of faith would find convoluted at best.
Their plot, at least, is straightforward enough: stressed-out mother Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) reaches her breaking point and rebels against her taxing daily routine. She demands that her teenage son, Dylan (Emjay Anthony), and tween daughter, Jane (Oona Laurence), start fending for themselves in minor ways. And she begins indulging herself by skipping work, drinking and relaxing.
Aided by two other like-minded moms — timid housewife Kiki (Kristen Bell) and raucous loudmouth Carla (Kathryn Hahn) — Amy also takes on aggressive perfectionist Gwendolyn James (Christina Applegate), the bullying head of her local PTA.
One of the factors contributing to Amy’s revolt is her discovery that her good-for-nothing husband, Mike (David Walton), has been having an online affair for the better part of a year. For most of the movie, she wavers between trying to repair her marriage and dumping Mike for Jessie (Jay Hernandez), the widowed father of one of her daughter’s classmates.
The dialogue suggests that Amy and Mike’s union may have been flawed from the start. She was only 20 when they married, we’re told, and they were trying to do the right thing since she was pregnant. So presumably their case would not be laughed out of court at a marriage tribunal. On the other hand, Amy’s fresh romance turns physical long before any potential divorce proceedings have even begun.
The screenplay’s outlook on sexuality in general, moreover, is low-minded and excessively permissive. Moviegoers are meant to be amused, for instance, when Carla experiments with same-sex kissing at a wild party.
Such indulgence extends to drugs as well. In a scene where a roomful of mothers are taking turns confessing their shortcomings as parents, one acknowledges confiscating her kid’s marijuana, then smoking it herself.
So, while it scores some points for its observations about exhausted grownups and over-scheduled children, moral sloppiness earns “Bad Moms” a failing grade.
The film contains strong sexual content including full nudity, brief masturbation and semi-graphic adultery, a frivolous attitude toward homosexual acts and narcotics use, pervasive sexual humor, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, and constant rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Churches must promote good health habits, humor, author says
NEXT: Cars and bikes crash aplenty, but not the plot of ‘Jason Bourne’
The movie is nothing but trash! I saddened me to see so many women in the theater laughing and shouting vulgar remarks. It made me sick to see these women that think vulgar language, lack of one’s self-respect, and being rude and obnoxious is ok.