My wife and I were craving a stupid movie to unleash some pent up tension after a demanding couple of months. Enter a movie called “Bad Moms.” The trailer relates the story of a single mom stressed to the edge. She decides to embrace being a “bad” mom instead of a hyperactive one.
I wasn’t terribly interested other than my wife and I needed a laugh. The movie, however, was quite different than the trailer.
There were a few good things. The comedy is based on ridiculing illogical truths of our world instead of trying to impress a ideal world onto the characters. One of the best jokes in the movie is when the main protagonists lure other local mothers away from the antagonists by throwing a party offering appetizers and “shitty wine.” Women flocked to the cheap wine, mirroring reality. Other jokes made fun of the hyperactive, mostly white, middle-class moms forbidding every possible contagion: BPA, wheat, sugar, soy, butter, probably vaccines, and not participating in PTA bake sales (horrors).
However, the remainder was just an hour and a half of lambasting men for being selfish babies. There is not a single positive portrayal of a man in the whole movie. The protagonist’s husband is a slob whose idea of a busy day is “I had two conference calls and took a nap; it was exhausting.” He is later caught in an unconsummated, online, adulterous relationship. Mila Kunis’s character, Amy, proceeds to fulfill her desire to live hedonistically for a while, free of the burdens she was unwilling to say “no” to. No to her spoiled, stupid son’s homework; yes to brunch and a spa-day with her unbelievably mature prepubescent daughter; no to cooking; no to her infantile, millennial (male) boss for whom she works five days while only being paid for three; no to the burdensome PTA bake sales.
She immediately finds a new man, who is little more than a walking dildo. He is not developed as a character, and is only an object for Amy to use. She sleeps with dildo the night before—the scene before—a marriage counseling scene led by Wanda Sykes where her husband immediately breaks down into a narcissistic rage about how Amy doesn’t do enough for him, despite doing everything. Within thirty seconds the marriage counselor says “y’all are better off divorced.”
The other protagonist, Kiki (??) played by Kristen Bell, is a stay at home mom with no friends, and a husband referred to as “Ike Turner” and portrayed as abusive for “keeping” her at home. Kiki frequently has Freudian slips where she states she allows her stay-at-home mom status because she has “low self-esteem” and “moms don’t quit; that’s for dads.” The antagonists ridicule her for being a stay-at-home mom; they also ridicule Amy for being a working mom too, though. Can’t win with feminists.
Kiki eventually stands up to her husband who, at the movie’s climax, is at home dealing with four children under eight, solo, at bedtime while Kiki overthrows the antagonist. She indignantly tells him to “deal with it, bitch” and hangs up while he tends to the children that normally exacerbate her due to lack of discipline.
At the finale, Kiki is shown to have appropriately cowed her husband who meekly ferries the children and their bags to school. Kiki sips a Starbucks while strolling leisurely, asking in a most demeaning manner, “did you bring so-and-sos backpack?” When he mewls “no,” Kiki orders him back to the car to grab the bag. He is on the verge of tears as he looks longingly at her for approval which she sternly denies until proper, obsequious obedience occurs.
The movie is clearly unrealistic. As an example, men work an average of five more hours, and are six times as likely to work more than forty hours compared to women. Most unrealistic though is that men are portrayed as incapable of maturity. Women watching should consider this—if you despise your husbands so, how will you think of your sons? This logic is not lost on the filmmakers, who portray the moms berating their own sons as imbeciles. They are. Why shouldn’t they be? Their fathers are.
I was disappointed in the movie, but I take it as a conquest. The reason upper-middle class wives can bitch about their circumstances is because they have the most purchasing power and freedom ever afforded to women, ever. All thanks to middle-class husbands that are the object of this movie’s hatred.