Mild mums


BAD MOMS (rating to be announced)

(101 minutes/Opens tomorrow/2/5 stars

The story: Amy Mitchell (Mila Kunis) is an overworked and stressed out mother of two juggling home, work and voluntary school duties. When she finally snaps and quits her motherly chores to enjoy life for herself, she comes up against the extreme disapproval of the Perfect Moms Clique headed by mean queen Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate).

What comedies do for smarty teens, horny college kids, lousy dads and even dirty grandpas, surely they can do the same thing for bad mums, right? Wrong.

You really want this flick to go for it and break the perception that being a mother means the end of a raucous life - or at least the end of a raucous laugh. But except for one hilarious scene where the finer points of sex are discussed graphically by the deprived, depraved mums in a loo, everything else here is so conservative, you would think this is a boring Tupperware convention.

Amy (Mila Kunis) dashes madly from point to point, bumps her car, gets noodles flung in her face, finds her soon-to-be-dumped hubby engaging in dirty Internet porn and, worst of all, gets judged by the stay-at-home catty tai-tai clique fronted by Applegate and Jada Pinkett Smith.

When the breaking point for the super-busy gal comes at a parents' meeting to discuss a bake sale at her children's school, you brace yourself for the wickedness which never happens.

Actually, you wonder what her problem is when her daughter is such a studious high-achiever, she could have been raised by an Asian tiger mum.

Writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover, 2009) keep it mild, harmless and lazy. They checklist all the predictable set-ups - supermarket rampage, awkward first-date-after-an-eternity-of-maternity and a grand speech about being free and happy.

Comediennes such as Applegate are waiting to be truly released to back up the too-young-to-be-terminally- motherly Kunis, but alas, they, too, are criminally shackled in this Mean Girls For Mums without the mean.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Mild mums'. Print Edition | Subscribe