Do schools even bother having bake sales these days?
With all the restrictions there are, what would even be the point?
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This question was one of several raised for me as I enjoyed
in an empty theater last Monday.
I took someone who I thought might just appreciate the theme of this film. Someone who often feels like a bad mom.
Okay, well I wouldn’t want to put words in her mouth of course, but I can tell that she feels like she can’t quite get it down, the act of being a mother. So many mothers feel that way and I can see why.
It’s hard to see Mila Kunis as a mom, what with the role she played as Jackie on That ‘70s Show. That is where I first saw her. She was a young teenager then and her character was selfish and vain, but I liked her and her starring role in this film is what first made me want to go and see it.
It was difficult for me, in a way, to believe her as a mother in her thirties. But then, it’s still strange to see my own sister and brother as parents too.
So, this film had its moments where the acting felt somewhat over-the-top and awkward.
I say this first, but I came away loving the film as a whole.
I can see how many might disregard the movie right off the bat. The title itself is controversial. If a parent already feels sensitive about the hardest job in the world, one which they chose for themselves or not, images of this movie might already be built up in their minds, even before giving it a chance.
Mila’s character Amy tries to have it all (marriage, children, career) and within the first half hour of the film everything falls apart for her.
Soon she is all on her own, still trying to do it all. She doesn’t fit in with the PTA moms, who look perfect and look down on anyone who doesn’t quite fit the mold.
Soon, Amy wants to give up, but not in a way that ever suggests a lack of real love for her two children. I’m sure every parent sometimes dreams of taking a break from it all. Nobody can be a good parent without taking care of the parent themselves on a regular basis.
She finds her own friendships with a few other mothers who definitely aren’t perfect. She tries to figure out how to get back into the dating game.
She ends up out on a
with one of the dads from her kid’s school, a widower who all the moms fawn over.
I felt the pressure Amy and her fellow moms were feeling. I better felt the pressure the mom sitting next to me in the theater must feel every single day. Of course, nobody ever truly knows that feeling until they themselves becomes responsible for the life of a child. That every decision you make directly affects their life. How every day there is some element of judgment from other parents and from society at large. I felt the heaviness of that responsibility, which is a solid weight on top of any parent, but which translates into the strongest feelings of love and devotion.
This movie was full of sweet moments and horrifying ones, involving hot coffee and spaghetti in the car.
It included a few montages, which can be difficult to describe for a sighted person explaining the film to someone with a visual impairment like myself.
This time however, it was done with brilliance: “Meh…huh…hmm…wha…umm.”
That was the best explanation anyone’s ever given me of a super speedy montage of people’s reactions to Amy’s odd conversation starters in a bar.
And so I do recommend “Bad Moms” to parents and non parents alike. It reaches the heart of family life, divorce, moving on and dating.
The film was criticized for the lack of attention given to the father parts, but I understood why the focus was placed on the mothers in this case. Still, stereotypes of what the roles are for fathers in raising their own children aside, families can be complicated and this film only gives one perspective overall, that of one mother, a group of mothers, the perfection that is expected, even more from the inside, from each mother herself.
All feminist rants aside also, I did feel like this time more focus was placed on Amy’s daughter and her need to be perfect like her mother. Amy’s son was a character I would have liked to see more of. He was helpless, mirroring his father, at the start of the film. But by the end, he was well on his way to becoming a chef when he grew up. His was a sweet role that was somewhat put on the back burner, as some said all the male parts were. I guess this time the females are featured, but with so much devotion to males in movies for so long, I thoroughly enjoyed this viewpoint.
Will Amy give up and truly become a bad mother? Or will she find a way to get it together for her kids and for herself and her own sanity?
Go check it out and see for yourself. (Some strong language throughout.)
Well worth it in my opinion.