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segunda-feira, 29 de agosto de 2016

Bad Moms

These Bad Moms need less parental guidance - review

    
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn in Bad Moms
Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn in Bad Moms


Directors: Jon Lucas,Scott Moore.  Starring: Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Annie Mumolo. 15 cert; 100 mins.
After years of comedies about juvenile men and their bad behaviour,Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids was hailed as the start of a new era: one in which on-screen women could be as outrageous and as immature as their male counterparts.
Bad Moms, while nowhere near as funny as Bridesmaids, does a more-than adequate job at continuing the trend. The nagging, joyless tropes  of yesteryear (those wives and girlfriends who existed only as foils for their endearingly silly menfolk) are neatly inverted.
Instead, at the heart of this film we get easy-to-like, permanently put-upon working mother Amy (Mila Kunis), who teams up with frazzled mother-of-four Kiki (Kristen Bell) and lax single parent Carla (Kathryn Hahn) to rebel against the tyranny of the “perfect mother" stereotype.

It’s easy to be sceptical about the fact that this inherently female story is being told by the two directors behind the very male comedy The Hangover –  but Bad Moms feels like its heart is in the right place. It’s firmly on the side of its three female protagonists, and manages to land its central message – that no parent is perfect and that it’s not just okay but imperative put yourself first sometimes – with easy charm and real emotion. Even its main villain, Regina George-like PTA leader Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate), is eventually treated sympathetically. 
That said, Bad Moms ultimately falls down by not going far enough. The level of perfection displayed by Kunis’s character at the start of the film is so ridiculously high – do any working mothers really make their children hot breakfasts every day? – and her cyber-cheating husband and layabout boss so undeniably appallingly, that her subsequent venture into “badness” feels comparatively restrained.
Bad Moms
She seeks revenge on her husband by appropriating his prized sports car and using it for the school run. But after the amount she’s been coping with, you feel as if she’d be more likely to melt it down with a flame thrower and stand naked in the school playground, swigging tequila and cackling with laughter because her kids are going to have to walk home.
The film’s many slow-mo “women go wild” montages also feel a little flat and forced – as if someone is brandishing a “Laugh Now!” sign. Instead, Bad Mom’s real humour comes from the absurdist bits of dialogue – Kiki casually acknowledging that her younger daughter is probably a “killer” – and from the interaction between its three central characters.
Kathryn Hahn in Bad Moms
Kathryn Hahn in Bad Moms
Hahn is perfectly cast, practically stealing every scene she’s in as a sexually liberated man-eater: terrifying one women into supporting Amy’s bid for PTA leadership by threatening to sleep with her husband (you haven’t seen a lascivious leer until you’ve seen Hahn’s lascivious leer). An extended riff on the "perils" of uncircumcised men fizzes with joyous manic energy, even if it doesn’t quite translate, culturally speaking, for British audiences.
There are also a few moments in which a spiky, exhilaratingly authentic feminist rage is allowed to peek through. During one exchange, Amy darkly warns her son that if he doesn’t start learning to do things for himself, he’ll end up as a talentless “man baby”, treating people – specifically  girls – with horrific entitlement. The scene is infused with real bite and bitterness, and the film feels all the better for it. 
A little more vinegar like this, and Bad Moms could have been a genuinely subversive comedy, rather than just a sweetly funny one. 

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