The movie “Bad Moms” opened this past weekend in the number two slot, taking in $23.8 million. And despite the bad language and wild antics, the film delivers a lesson… to dads. I’ll leave you with Plugged In’s Paul Asay to share what he learned when he watched “Bad Moms” — so you won’t have to.
And I’d love to hear from you — what summer movie (in the theaters or on Netflix) can you recommend? Let me know in the comments section below. –J.D.
It’s tough to be a mother. Just ask Amy.
In the movie “Bad Moms,” Amy (Mila Kunis) does it all. She works outside the house. She chauffeurs her two middle-schoolers to soccer practice and Mandarin lessons. She cooks. She carries around the family dog when he’s plagued with vertigo, for cryin’ out loud.
But one evening during a particularly stressful PTA meeting, poor Amy snaps. And suddenly she becomes … well, you know. A bad mom.
How bad? As a guy tasked with counting swear words for the family-centric entertainment review site Plugged In, I got writer’s cramps watching this movie. “Bad Moms” is a gleefully, unapologetically sleazy R-rated comedy—not the sort of flick that a conservative Christian outlet like mine would give a thumbs-up to.
But while the movie wasn’t exactly family friendly, it had a point on how hard it is to raise families these days—and how much of that critical duty falls directly on mom’s shoulders.
“Being a mom today is impossible,” Amy says in the movie, and there’s a lot of truth to that. As our children’s schoolwork balloons and extracurricular activities burgeon, moms are the ones who have to make it work somehow. According to a 2015 poll by the Pew Research Center, moms are nine times more likely than dads to take the lead in managing their child’s activities. In fact, moms are more likely than dads to take the lead in every aspect of domestic life—even when they work outside the home. (More than seven out of 10 American mothers do.)
And many dads, I think, don’t have a clue how hard moms work. When Amy’s husband Mike (David Walton) complains about the two grueling conference calls he had before his morning nap, that’s closer to reality than most of us dads would like to admit. My wife’s a chemist. I’m a movie critic. But who was more likely to stay home with our kids when they got sick? Hey, these movies don’t watch themselves.
“Bad Moms” wants to encourage mothers to cut themselves a little slack. And even if the flick and I might differ in how much slack to cut, the point is valid. There’s so much pressure on parents to be perfect today. That quest for perfection doesn’t do anyone any good—not even our kids.
But I think fathers can learn something from the bad dads in “Bad Moms,” too: That we shouldn’t take our wives—the love of our lives, the mothers of our children—for granted. We should be willing to pick the kids up from piano lessons, fix dinner, clean the bathrooms when we can—and volunteer to do it, too. Our wives shouldn’t have to ask us to do these things as if we were children ourselves.
Hey, parenthood can be hard whether you’re a mom or a dad. We parents know that all too well. But when we really work together to raise our kids, even imperfect moms and dads can raise some pretty great kids.
Paul Asay has been reviewing movies since 2006 as a senior associate editor for the popular Christian site Plugged In. A longtime journalist, he’s authored and co-authored several books, including “The Good Dad” and written for a variety of secular and Christian publications. Paul gets a kick out of James Bond flicks, bad B movies and has a particular fondness for all things superhero. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @AsayPaul.