*As a male writing this, I feel the need to add this: Fellas, if there was ever a comedy that sounds “female-centric” that you are going to want to hit up, this is it! Imagine Bridesmaids but WAY WAY funnier. Oh yeah! I said it.*
This is one of the best pure comedies that I’ve seen in the last few years. I’m not overselling it from my account either. I went in expecting few laughs and walked out with sore abs and dry tear ducts from laughter. The jokes hit on multiple levels. Sure, there are tropes and the storyline is fairly linear but complexity doesn’t make for great comedy. Banter and nuanced truths do that. In many ways, this movie reminds me of stand-up routines by Jim Gaffigan, Amy Schumer, Louis C.K. and Jen Kirkman mashed up in an awesome remix. It has the unapologetic tone of the middle two comics and the raw family/relationship truths of Jim and Jen.
One of the things that I think makes this movie so good is that they cast mothers for this movie. When you cast someone that lives the truths, you often get a much more real performance. Why do you think that Robert Downey Jr. is such a good Iron Man? Could it be that he’s a rich, someone egotistical rockstar with substance abuse issues? Yep. The same is true when you cast mothers to play a somewhat hyperbolic role about REAL struggles that moms have.
The writing was so on-point. The same crew that gave you The Hangover (Part 1) brought this flick together. Josh Lucas and Scott Moore have given us a new lovable wolf-pack to love. I loved these jokes for the same reason that I disliked almost every joke in Ghostbuster (2016): layering. These jokes are like a parfait of awesomeness. Each layer is good on it’s own but when they’re brought together, they really shine.
If Mila Kunis doesn’t get discussed as one of the leading female leads for comedies after this, I’ll be disappointed. She’s consistently been funny and relatable in everything from Forgetting Sarah Marshall to Friends with Benefits. Kristen Bell is consistently underrated for her contributions in every comedy that she’s been a part of. Kathryn Hahn needs to become more of a household name. These three (along with the ever-talented Christina Applegate) are comedic powerhouses that probably don’t get the love that they deserve. I honestly hope that this movie brings all three closer to the top of the list for comedic castings.
I won’t spoil anything but don’t leave when the credits start. There is still some awesomeness left.