LIFE IN SHARP FOCUS
It’s set to be one of the year’s best comedies, but Bad Moms explores some harder truths that apply no matter what your walk of life
Afew weeks ago Mila Kunis, Christina Applegate, Annie Mumolo and Kathryn Hahn were curled up on couches in a West Hollywood hotel discussing topics most mothers would prefer to avoid.
The actresses, stars of the new comedy Bad Moms, were recounting some not-sosuccessful moments raising their children.
Kunis and Mumolo told of how they forgot to strap their daughters in their car seats, then took off down Los Angeles’ freeways without even realising.
Hahn remembers playfully tossing her baby son in the air and forgetting a fan was whirling above at high speed.
“I almost decapitated my son,” Hahn sheepishly says.
Applegate told of how she tried to convince her five-yearold daughter Sadie it was OK to use dental floss picked out of a rubbish can.
“She said: ‘No, you just took that out of the trash can’,” Applegate laughs.
“I’m like: ‘It was in there for two seconds and no one has used it’.
“She said: ‘It was in the trash can, Mum’!”
Bad Moms, also starring Kristen Bell, Jada Pinkett Smith and Wanda Sykes, follows Amy Mitchell (Kunis) as she attempts to raise two children, hold down a job, put up with a slacker husband and satisfy the high expectations of the head of the parent-teacher association (Applegate).
When it all gets too much, Amy goes rogue, aligning herself with two other rebellious mums.
Applegate says there is too much pressure on parents and children to be perfect and that the movie explores that.
“Is it the internet?” Applegate asks.
“Is it because everyone has an f-ing opinion about everything? Are people so damn scared our kids won’t be perfect? I don’t want my kid to be perfect because then she will be complacent. I want her to always know practice is progress, it’s not perfect. I think that’s what this movie is about. It is OK to be a bad mum. It is OK to fail.
“We don’t need to be perfect because that is setting a standard for our kids that is unrealistic.”
Kunis, who welcomed her daughter with actor husband Ashton Kutcher in 2014 and is pregnant with their second, says she grew up poor in Ukraine, a life her children will not have to endure. Kunis is not sure if that is a good thing.
“They are going to be so privileged and will grow up in a world where everything is so accessible, from information to material things,” she says.
“How do you teach a work ethic to a child that doesn’t need a work ethic?
“I grew up so poor I was like: ‘Doesn’t everybody drink ketchup with water for soup?’
When Kunis’s nieces came to visit her in LA she did not take them to premieres or to Hollywood parties. She took them to Skid Row, a notorious area that is populated by the homless, drug addicts and the mentally ill.
“That’s real life,” she says. Bad Moms opens today
Mila Kunis, who grew up poor in Ukraine, in a scene from the film Bad Moms.