“Bad Moms” is a mixed bag. On the one hand it’s great to see a nasty, mean-spirited comedy digs its claws into an insidious form of toxic parenthood that has emerged over the years. On the other hand, there are few likable characters around and an overabundance of villains, which makes the movie occasionally unpleasant to sit through. Mila Kunis does the Mila Kunis thing in the lead and Kirsten Bell is underused, but the real standout here is Kathryn Hahn: Every line she delivers feels like a comedic weapon, and she walks away with the movie in the process. The underlying message (which can be boiled down to “let’s all just relax a little bit”) is admirable, in particular as technology continues to cause whiplash-inducing changes to society and its members, but it’s delivered with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer over and over again. Still, it does have its moments, and there are some big laughs along the way.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)