[SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen this film, it's okay. Keep reading because you're not going to want to see it anyway.]
I have to admit it pains me to write these words because I'm such a huge advocate for Hollywood producing more female-driven stories.
But this movie is everything that is wrong about how they're going about it.
Now before I rip Bad Moms a new one, I want to give it some credit for a few things that I did like. For one, I liked the story's overall message - there's no such thing as perfection so moms can drop the front.
I liked that it promoted friendship between women (part of the time, anyway) and supporting each other through good and bad times.
I liked that the main character, Amy Mitchell played by Mila Kunis, ended up divorcing her douchebag husband, got the hot widower, and received the workplace respect and money she deserved in the end.
But the main problem I had with this movie is I didn't laugh through the entire film.
Like not once.
And I like to laugh. A lot.
I didn't laugh - even though I'm literally the prime demographic for this film being a mom, myself - because I couldn't relate to the characters. They weren't grounded at all.
They felt like caricatures instead - the worst offender being Kathryn Hahn's character, Carla, an extremely horny single mom that will literally sleep with anybody. Although I think Kathryn Hahn is a talented actress, this portrayal felt like I was watching an over-the-top sketch comedy show for far too long.
But Amy's husband, Mike, played by David Walton, was a close second for the two-dimensional character that was such a doofus I couldn't even suspend my disbelief for five minutes to accept why she would marry him - even if she was only 20 years old when she did. I also hated how she defended the decision stating he was once a really good guy. Sure, whatever.
But honestly, I think most of the blame for how bad Bad Moms is lies on the shoulders of writer-directors, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. The same guys that brought us, The Hangover trilogy, which was pretty hilarious (at least the first one, anyway).
Why people in Hollywood would think these guys are the best pick to bring us a story about being a mom, I have no idea. Because what is clear to me is they don't write women well - at all.
For one, it felt extremely stereotypical that the main antagonist against Amy was an uptight, perfectionist PTA President. You can't have a movie about women without a catfight, right?
It just reminded me of a recent interview of Tiny Fey I read in Town & Country, where she discusses how frustrating it is that journalists expect women to always be fighting amongst each other. They ask questions like, "Do you and Amy Poehler ever argue?" Questions that male actors like Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg rarely get asked.
I wish I could scream from the top of the Hollywood hills. Believe it or not, but women really don't fight with each other as much as you'd like us to - especially over men!
Which leads me to my next point...
I didn't like that the ultimate catalyst for Amy's character breaking bad was her husband's internet affair. Again, it may have helped if there was something to miss about this doofus but either way, it just felt so stale and stereotypical to me.
And if that wasn't bad enough, when she does become a "bad mom," she does lame things like she wears a strappy dress, brings store bought donut holes to the school bake sale, and has a raging house party that ends at 11pm.
If I could have a conversation with these dudes, I would grab them by the lapels, shake some sense into them and I'd say, "You wrote the Hangover and the best you can do for Bad Moms is a house party that ends at 11pm. WTF?"
But you know what annoys me the most about this missed opportunity for an amazing female-driven movie is that some suit in Hollywood thought these guys would be the best writers to write a movie about being a mom.
I literally went through every movie listed on Fox News '21 Best Dad Movies Ever' and found that only one film on the list had been written exclusively by women and it was Mrs. Doubtfire, a story where an out of work actor pretends he's an elderly woman so he can be his children's nanny and spend more time with them. The smattering of other female writers I found had to share the credit with two to three men. Even with Sleepless in Seattle, Nora Ephron shared credit with three other men!
It annoys me because it's movies like this that Hollywood then uses to justify why they shouldn't produce female-driven stories. It's like they have these sexist blinders on and they don't want to confront the fact that if you want to successfully tap into the female audience, you have to do more than write a story about what a man would think a woman would do and say. You have to actually respect the female perspective and hire women!
So please, Hollywood, get this message loud and clear. I changed my mind about going to see Bad Moms opening night not because it was female-driven and I had no interest but because my sister saw it earlier in the day and told me it wasn't worth the cost of the movie ticket. And when I went to see it a couple weeks later, I wish I'd have continued to listen to her.
So you see how women can stick together?
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