I went to this movie with some trepidation. It was written and directed by the guys who wrote “The Hangover,” which was pretty darn crude. That film begat two more Hangover movies and then “Last Vegas,” a hangover film for old guys.
It was time for a bad moms variation. And, surprisingly, it’s pretty funny. Some men won’t enjoy it, but virtually all women — even those who would never get drunk and vandalize a grocery store — will relate.
There are all the set pieces you might expect: loutish husbands, entitled children who whine incessantly, a mean mom who runs the PTA and the middle school, lots of drinking, rebellion and, ultimately, a satisfying conclusion. There is one really bad mom, one really naive mom and Mila Kunis in the middle who takes control of her life, lets her kids start taking responsibility for themselves and then triumphs over the mean-girl PTA cabal.
Embedded in every scene is a theme that other women will recognize: Moms love their children absolutely, but they feel themselves being held to an impossible standard. They, their husbands and their children need to renegotiate the deal.
Yes, it’s R-rated and the family-movie scolds warn strongly against taking your children to see it. But it’s not nearly as sleazy as “The Hangover” and it’s downright wholesome compared to “Suicide Squad,” which cost 16 times as much to make and now is spawning the release of fun Halloween costumes that mimic its violent characters.