Saturday 17 March 2018

TV has finally embraced tough women who rebel against ideal motherhood

'Bad Moms' is the latest box-office hit portraying women as more than cookie-baking soccer moms, writes Sarah Hughes

Alison Janney is in ‘Mom’. Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images
Alison Janney is in ‘Mom’. Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images

Sarah Hughes

There is a moment in new US comedy Bad Moms where Mila Kunis's Amy finally decides she's had enough. After a day spent running from school to work, from vet's appointments to children's hobbies, she reaches the end of her tether at a PTA meeting from hell in which she is asked to join "the bakery police". "No, that's it, I'm done," she says, heading to a bar instead. "If that makes me a bad mom, then that's fine." It's a scene many of us can relate to.

Amy, with her desire to cut free in a fast car, down the odd drink and stop making her children's breakfast every morning, is not alone. In addition to Bad Moms, which pulled in $23m at the US box office last weekend, holding its own against spy juggernaut Jason Bourne, there's Netflix's latest movie, Tallulah, in which Ellen Page's free spirit steals a toddler from a hotel room when the child's mother passes out in a drunken coma after a bad date.

On television, the hit US comedy Mom, now in its fourth season, follows Allison Janney's character as she attempts to make amends after years of bad motherhood, while the cult hit Odd Mom Out turns a gimlet eye on the terrible and terrifying mothers of Manhattan's Upper East Side as they try to put the fun into fundraisers.

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