Bad Moms vs Mom’s Night Out
In the last couple of years movie makers have come out with two brilliantly thought-out movies that focus solely on moms. The movies put a hilarious twist on life as a mom and all the harried craziness that we endure, cause, and enjoy every day of our existence. Although the two movies have the same premise… they are each very different. Check out my reviews…
Bad Moms: Rated R, starring Mila Kunis, and a couple other big name stars. The main character is Amy (Kunis). She drives her mini-van like she’s at the Portland Speedway, is late to just about everything, is under-appreciated by her boss, her husband, and her kids, and she ultimately feels like a failure even though she manages to get the kids to and from school and extra curricular activities, kicks ass at work, her house is immaculate, and her freaking hair and clothes are always put together. If that’s a failure… we’re all doomed. Her daughter is a perfectionist and already stressing about future success at age 12. The kids go to a private school that is unrealistically run by PTA, or in reality the demanding, controlling, self-absorbed PTA president, Gwendolyn (excellently played by Christina Applegate). Amy realizes that she is overwhelmed, and something needs to change. She ‘quits’ the PTA which puts her in the destructive path of Gwendolyn who makes it her goal to ruin Amy’s daughter. In the meantime, Amy makes a couple of outrageous friends; fellow moms sick of the same pressures and unrealistic expectations. They each come to recognize the importance of their role to just be mom, and to be OK not being perfect (specifically accepting the idea of being a bad mom). The movie ends with a great, and unlikely success that boosts Amy’s confidence and helps defeat the PTA dictator, freeing all the oppressed moms at the school. Doesn’t this just sound like a lovely movie, that maybe the family should watch so the kids can see the truth behind the mom mask? Hold those horses before you let the kiddos watch this blockbuster! My husband and I had several good laughs, but unless you don’t mind your kids being bombarded by f’word-obsessed moms, learning all the slang for the male reproductive organ (think… “Mommy, how can it rain down roosters?”), educating themselves on how to deal with a never-hard husband, learning that single moms are most often sluts, or thinking that moms taking their kids’ drugs and smoking them themselves, or doing whipits at a PTA meeting is acceptable practice… probably not the movie for family night.
Mom’s Night Out. Rated PG. My church rented out a theater and hosted a ‘Mom’s Night Out’ for this, which automatically puts it in a different category of Bad Moms. The main character, Ally (played by an adorable Sarah Drew) is a slightly neurotic, self-described clean-freak blogger with writers block, and three out-of-control young kids that catapult every day into overwhelming nightmares that include Child Protective Services and salmonella. She and two equally overwhelmed friends decide they are having a Mom’s Night Out. The night includes wrong reservations, broken heals, an escaped pet bird, a missing baby, jail, a stolen mommy minivan, the pastor’s wife getting tazed, and tears. Trace Adkins (not my favorite country singer, but he did great with his part in the movie) kind of saves the day, or at least encourages Ally to think about what really matters. Spoiler Alert… the movie ends with a recovered van, a found baby, everyone bailed out, and tears… but happy ones. And Ally is able to recognize the beauty in her chaos. Laugh out-loud funny, and definitely family friendly.
These movies left me thinking about my own PTA mom friends. The f’word is rarely used. None of us are sluts, or at least open about it. Nor do we steal drugs from our kids, and use it ourselves (at least I don’t remember any of us bragging about it). We don’t backstab and threaten each other.
We’ve enjoyed many a happy hour after a PTA meeting, and even a get-together that involved a little too much tequila (Cindy :)), enjoyed Pampered Chef parties, have taken kindergarten zoo trips, and 5th grade zoo trips, visited Olympia, and bought and sold all kinds of stuff. But more often than not, our lives revolve around our families. We carve out time for each other when we can. We volunteer, we work, we support each other. We fail. We succeed. We try our best. And we’re too hard on ourselves, and we don’t take enough time to take care of ourselves. Both of these movies showed that last truth clearly. That’s what moms do best… they selflessly give of themselves. And we suck at being selfish for ourselves. But oh how perfect the days that I take time to fill myself up, so that I can overflow into the people around me. When I have my head on straight before the craziness begins, so I can sanely take care of situations that arise… days like those, I feel like a ninja mom… it can only happen when I take time for myself. No one is going to make that happen except me.
Life is good. I love being mom, and wouldn’t give up the craziness, the heartbreak, the exhaustion for the world. And I’m so glad that I have friends (however infrequent that I see them) to be there for me when I need them.
Both of these movies have truth about the lives of mothers, and give a reminder that our chaotic moments can actually be funny… Let’s not cry over spilled milk as the saying goes… let’s laugh about it… write it down… and maybe our experiences will be the making of the next big mommy blockbuster hit.