Bad Moms (2016)
101 min., rated R.
“21 & Over”) wrote and directed this frisky and fun party romp in which the number of laughs can successfully be counted on more than both hands. This female-driven mix of bawdy humor and maternal empowerment may be predictable from a narrative standpoint, but it’s been made with a heartfelt foundation and such comedic relish that the rollicking misbehaving feels well-earned.
"Bridesmaids," this role could have been cartoonish, but Hahn finds a decency, loyalty and warmth in the otherwise entertainingly uncouth Carla. As Amy’s counterpoint, Christina Applegate is an acerbic ace, even in an initially one-note role as the catty and calculating but insecure Gwendolyn. Her overly prepared PTA meeting, full of over-the-top PowerPoint presentations, is priceless, as is the final scene between her and Amy that cuts Gwendolyn down to size. In the two roles of Gwendolyn’s mean-girl minions, Jada Pinkett Smith mainly has to follow Applegate but gives good side eye as Stacy, while Annie Mumolo gets to sneak in some sharp asides as the perpetually snubbed Vicky. As the sole male eye-candy who isn’t a cheater or a complete idiot but gets to be objectified, Jay Hernandez is innately charismatic with the little bit he’s given to do as hunky, idealistic widower and father Jessie.