To title your film with the superlative ‘Fantastic’ is playing with fire. Firstly, in this age of Marvel’s silver screen domination and DC’s valiant attempts to catch up, it would be understandable for any jaded cinema-goer to skip this one, expecting another facile, spandex-clad superhero epic; secondly, if it fails the headlines write themselves, and every movie critic worth their salt would crowbar in a reference to the irony of the film’s title. Luckily, Matt Ross’ sophomore effort Captain Fantastic, following 2012’s 28 Hotel Rooms, will have few critics drawing knives, and anyone eagerly searching for an antithesis to the recent barrage of superhero blockbusters in cinemas will be satisfied, if not delighted, when the credits roll.
Bad Moms threatens to turn into a women-centric Seth Rogen movie, and it could easily have fallen off that particular cliff. Fortunately the movie and the audience are spared that fate, largely because the moms aren’t really that bad, and that’s the point of the movie. These women are overstressed, overworked and under-appreciated, but they’re trying.