Already have an account?
Get back to the

‘Bad Moms’ Review: Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell Lead a Talented Ensemble in a ‘Raunchy, Mighty Funny’ Comedy

3 stars (out of 4)

OK, moms. Have you been forced to sit through all five Ice Age movies? Do you watch all those caped crusaders battle one another and think, “Why can’t they get a real job?” Then this one’s just for you.

Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn
From left: Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn

A breezy and all-too-relatable late-summer treat, the raunchy comedy Bad Moms (opening Friday, July 29) is the equivalent of drinking a margarita at the pool while the kids are at camp. No, it’s not good for you. A load of empty calories. But, boy, does it go down easy.

It’s mighty funny too. Mila Kunis stars as Amy, a harried 32-year-old working mother of two in suburban Illinois. She just found out her lazy man-child of a husband is cheating on her with some lady on the Internet. She still desperately wants to Lean In, but during one hectic day, her world topples on top of her. The cooking is not going well. She’s late to her preteen daughter’s soccer practice. She spills scalding coffee on herself. She can’t get a handle at work. And her rival Gwendolyn, the ultra-type-A president of the PTA (Christina Applegate), publicly calls out her shortcomings later that night at an all-important school meeting about new bake sale restrictions.

Related: Mila Kunis Looks Just Like a '20s Flapper With Her New Hairstyle

All Amy can do is stop by a bar and commiserate with two fellow moms (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn). Over drinks, they vent and declare that they’re tired of living up to expectations and doing a circuslike juggling act. “Let’s be bad moms!” Amy declares, raising a glass. Yes. Let’s! Not that these three need hardcore convincing: Hahn is sublime as a laissez-faire single mom who doesn’t have the patience to sit through her son’s baseball games.

Next stop: the grocery store, where the trio unleash their newfound rebellion to the tune of Icona Pop’s “I Love It.” (Sample lyric: “I crashed my car into a bridge. I don’t care!”) By the next morning, a hungover Amy tells her kids to make their own breakfast — and then drops them off at school in her husband’s red convertible with Arby’s bags for lunch. All Gwendolyn and her two cohorts (Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo) can do is look on in disgust. And perhaps a touch of envy.

Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn (from left) in ‘Bad Moms.’

A more specific storyline finally falls into place once Amy plots to run for PTA president just so she can overthrow Gwendolyn. Cue the merciless stumping and dueling house parties. But the victor is irrelevant. More winning are the consistently knowing jokes that manage to incorporate 1) how Blue Bloods factors into sex; 2) a show-and-tell demonstration of an uncut penis; 3) why it’s a bad idea to watch 12 Years a Slave alone; 4) the misery of a junior high girls’ soccer coach; and 5) a lecture about unflattering bras.

This is the second all-female ensemble comedy to arrive in just two weeks — no doubt a refreshing alternative to the barrage of CGI-ed bonanzas. It’s counterproductive to compare this film to Ghostbusters when both movies should be able to thrive in the crowded blockbuster marketplace. So instead, let’s hold up Bad Moms as an all-encompassing successful example of what a summer comedy should aspire to be: an original and totally effortless laugher that knows its audience and uses a talented cast of bawdy females to fill in the plot holes. Here’s proof that you don’t need to rely on a parade of pointless star cameos or a random dance sequence to deliver genuine laughs. (That said, the feisty Pinkett Smith deserves better than her second-rate muted role.)

Related: Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell Are Hot Mamas — See Their Sizzling Style

The movie even knows how to make its audiences leave the theater with a satisfied smile. After all the moms have learned their lessons and earned their respective happy endings, a touching closing-credits sequence — too sweet to spoil here — serves as an ode to the joys of motherhood. Cheers.

In this article