As busy I get from time to time, I find that I can't see every movie under the sun, leaving my friends and colleagues to fill in the blanks for me.  As poetically as I think I wax about movies on this website as a wannabe critic, there are other experts out there.  Sometimes, it inspires me to see the movie too and get back to being my circle's go-to movie guy.  Sometimes, they save me $9 and you 800+ words of blathering.  In a new review series, I'm opening my site to friend submissions for guest movie reviews.


THE MOMS:   (left to right) Lara Resnick, Donna Ferretti, Kelly Johnson, Manda Torres, and Thanh Shanahan

THE MOMS: (left to right) Lara Resnick, Donna Ferretti, Kelly Johnson, Manda Torres, and Thanh Shanahan

As a very special occasion, my "Guest Critics" this time are four very lovely and special ladies.  What makes them lovely and special?  The fact that they are all mothers makes those adjectives appropriate and just two of many possible superlatives.  

Meet the "TTC" (Terrific Teacher Committee, renamed after a previous NSFW original title) comprised of Donna Ferretti, Kelly Johnson, Manda Torres, and my own wife, Mrs. Thanh Shanahan, stepping up from her signature "Pillow Rankings" on this website.  All four ladies are school teachers by trade and former (or spouses of former) co-workers of mine. Donna was the first person I met in 2002 when I began work at Sauk Elementary School in Richton Park, Illinois.  Manda Torres is the wife of the second person I met at Sauk, technology teacher and studly racquetball player Ben Torres.  I met Kelly Johnson through previous Sauk friends when I worked a year at Pioneer Elementary School in Bolingbrook, Illinois.  Last but not least, Thanh and I met and eventually married after working together for Chicago International Charter Schools in 2009.

All except Thanh are back in the classroom and enjoying their summer vacations. When "Bad Moms" was approaching on the summer movie calendar, I knew these mothers needed to cut loose for a "ladies night." ... well, at least a "ladies Sunday matinee."  I was personally already picking out in my mind which lady matched each of the film's cast member mom types between Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn.  It was the perfect type of movie opportunity for these occasionally stressed moms.  I gladly passed up an advance critics screening to empower these four (and a special shout-out to a tag-along fifth in Lara Resnick) to be the exclusive authority and word on this movie for "Every Movie Has a Lesson." 

So, on a lovely Sunday, us husbands and fathers (myself included) manned up to parent our combined squad of EIGHT three-and-under toddlers while preparing a delicious dinner for their return.  Here's what they thought of it, cuss words and all!


KELLY: "I had low expectations, not expecting anything special.  The movie actually surprised me that it was funnier than I thought possible.  The scene discussing certain male anatomy was a riot!  Some unrealistic parts were over-the-top enough to be funny instead of dumb.  I enjoyed it!  Two hours of fun times!  You spend the entire movie guessing which mom you are.  I think I'm Kathryn Hahn." 

DONNA: "I think I'm Kristen Bell's character.  Where do I start?  It was entertaining!  The funny parts were funny and some was unrealistic.  When I am part of the PTO someday, I want to have parties like they have parties!" 

MANDA:  "I thought it reached every mom's perspective on a different level.  There is something for all of us to relate to, moms of all ages.  It left me rooting for the bad moms.  Stay into the credits for great moments with the actresses and their real moms.  It had the perfect amount of swear words, meaning many!  The F word is my favorite! 

THANH: As with all movies, the implausibility is very present.  The ridiculousness is pretty thick.  There were laugh-out-loud parts, but not as many as I thought.  It felt like all the funny parts were in the trailer.  Maybe I had higher expectations, but that's OK.  The best thing about it was going with a group of friends! 


Ladies, I am so glad you got the chance to go see a movie together with no kids!  I, for one, had a pleasure playing with those eight little buggers and cooking dinner.  Let's do it again soon!  

Friends, if you see a movie that I don't see and want to be featured on my website (and get a fun fake biography written about you), hit up my website's Facebook page and you can be my next GUEST CRITIC!