Hello, everyone, and welcome to the movie factory. I am your tour guide, The Vern, and on this journey, I will be describing how movies are made for a general audience. It's important when you make one of these features to reach the widest demographic possible. If anyone says your film was original or even daring, you will have failed as a filmmaker for this particular niche market.
The movie that we are going to be exploring while in this building is the 2016 comedy Bad Moms. It was made for a budget of $20 Million and ranked in close to $180 Million at the box office. The movie Mother's Day that came out earlier this year only made back $43 million on an budget of $25 million. Audiences seemed to enjoy this one a lot more than the other. Yet I feel that both of these movies could co-exist together like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War or Jungle Book and Pete's Dragon. You can switch characters and locations of these movies around without anyone ever noticing or even caring. Hey, it worked before with Deep Impact and Armageddon in the late '90s. Let's all move closer to the elevator so we can head up to the first floor.
Here we are, everyone, first floor. Watch your step as you exit the doors. If you look over to your right and left, you will see where the characters for Bad Moms are being made. The first one on the left is named Amy (Mila Kunis) and she is our main protagonist. She's your average overworked mother of two who feels stressed out by the things that most women do everyday. Although feeling frustrated with her family, she still loves them. Amy doesn't have much of a personality. This is good because she can become the avatar for the audience when they watch. Next to Amy are her friends and it's important that they are totally opposite from each other. The first one is named Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and she will be the wild card. She is the character who talks very candidly about sex and is good for all the R-rated one-liners. The next one is named Kiki (Kristen Bell) and she is the scared, shy introvert who never stands up for herself. This is good because when things turn around for Amy near the end of Act III, Kiki will also stand up for herself, giving people an extra nugget to feel good about as well.
On the right side are the antagonists to this tale. Since Amy is seen as your average woman who is not neat and perfect 24/7, Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) must be all about perfection and appear very much like one of the Stepford Wives on steroids. She too has friends, but they are so much like her the same actress could have easily done all three roles and no one would have noticed. The only other bad person is Amy's husband (David Walton) but we'll get rid of him in the first ten minutes. This will helps free up the romantic subplot with the hot, younger single dad (Jay Hernandez). The kids in Bad Moms with any lines must belong to the main protagonist and should only be used as a plot device. I'll explain more when we we hit the other floors. They should be just caricatures of your basic stereotypical kids and nothing more. Oh, and one more thing before we leave this floor and this is very crucial: all the characters I mentioned must be portrayed by actors who are easy on the eyes. All right, let's head on back to the elevator and we'll visit the story department.
This is where all the characters that were mentioned earlier are put into situations and a story is formed. Our hero Amy's life is rough because she is always so busy. We know this because she tells us in the first two minutes. Even though we are shown her taking her kids to school, rushing to go to work, picking the kids up, etc, it's important we have her break the fourth wall to tell us, but only do it once. She works part time at her job, so there really is no reason why she should feel that stressed out. I have seen mothers work two jobs and take care of their kids without ever seeing one complaint. I know, we'll give her a sick dog so the day can seem a little bit more chaotic for her. Amy will reach her breaking point when Gwendolyn asks her to lead the bake sale. I can't understand that in this whole school no one has ever said no to her before. I also had no idea that the PTA was more powerful than the whole school board.
Amy soon meets up with Kiki and Carla and they both decide that Amy should run for president at the next election. The girls get support by throwing a big party and having all the moms show up and drink. Have you ever seen when a bunch of ladies in their mid 30s to 40s get together and drink? It's usually a bottle of wine followed by a screening of Magic Mike or most likely this movie. It's not going to get all that crazy.
Gwendolyn finds out about the party and has Amy's daughter (Oona Laurence) punished by planting drugs in her locker. This is where her kids come in to help out with the plot as I mentioned. Amy will feel defeated because her daughter and everyone else in her family will go to live with her ex. The dog leaving is a nice sight gag, but it doesn't make any sense. Amy will be upset and lie on the couch all day watching sad movies until Carla and Kiki show up to give her support. If you haven't figured out the ending by now, I won't spoil it for those that wanna see it. Let's move on to our last and final floor.
Here we are, everyone, third floor. This is where the final parts of the movie are being finished with the editing and the score. Music plays an important part in movies. Some films will feature a song because its lyrics and tone are in perfect balance with the images shown. Only once did I see that aspect done right in this movie and it was in the grocery-store montage. Every other track was there to mainly create a mood or feeling. There's the "I'm down in the dumps" third-act song and the "I'm gonna get my groove back and fight" song. My favorite is the "let's use modern hip hop at a party scene" even though I know damn well those ladies will be busting out hits from the '80s. Editing should use slow motion to punch up the elements of comedy even more than it really needs to. Bad Moms uses it more than Zack Snyder does on a good day.
Since this is an R-rated movie, we can have Carla the slutty girl say the rudest things but not our main protagonist. As for Amy, she can be shown engaged in sexual activity but only if she is underneath the covers. This way she won't offend anyone who decides to take their grandma to see this. Now it's back to the elevator and I'll give you my thoughts on this movie.
I guess I would have enjoyed this more if I found any of the characters in this interesting, but I didn't. There's something that felt slightly misogynistic about the way women were portrayed in this movie. Yet, a lot of women I know that saw this liked it. So, what do I know? I really enjoyed Bridesmaids and Mean Girls and should have loved this one too. Maybe because both of those movies have female screenwriters and this one doesn't. I was just not on board to be bad with these ladies.
So that's it for the tour, folks. For a little bonus treat, everyone will get a copy of the movie on Blu-Ray with deleted scenes, outtakes, and extended interviews with the stars and their moms. This was the only thing I found funny about this movie and it was during the end credits.