In the new comedy “Bad Moms,” which officially opens in theaters this week, overstressed mom Mila Kunis proposes a toast to mothers who rebel against the over-the-top craziness of parenthood today — and across Long Island, moms are renting out movie theaters to raise their chardonnay glasses in unity.
At Elwood Cinemas in East Northport, for instance, 20 groups have reserved theaters for moms’-nights-out through Aug. 17, says office manager Ruth Seaman. Moms have also booked theaters in Port Washington, Bellmore, Merrick, Seaford and Farmingdale; some events are fundraisers to help battered women, animal rescue, autism awareness, Cub Scouts and, of course, the local PTAs. Others are just because.
“I think ‘Bad Moms’ is going to be the summer hit,” says Cynthia Litman of Port Washington, 41, mom of two kids ages 8 and 10. Her company, MomTime Events, is running a screening Thursday, July 28 — the eve of the official nationwide release — at Soundview Cinemas in Port Washington. Moms will love seeing their alter-egos “say and do things that all the moms secretly wish they could do,” Litman says.
LAUGHING EN MASSE
The moms say they want to go together to laugh at an exaggerated version of themselves — they’re already cracking up at the movie’s trailer, in which PTA president Christina Applegate gives a PowerPoint presentation about the school bake sale, instructing, “No BPA, no MSG, no BHT, no eggs, no nuts, no soy.” When Kunis brings store-bought doughnut holes, Applegate swipes them off the table, vowing, “I am going to destroy you.”
The comedy is from the writers of “The Hangover,” and the R-rated flick from STX Entertainment promises to be a raunchy binge of fun and self-indulgence. It’s the perfect excuse for a moms’ night out, the women say.
“It got crazy,” says Cathleen D’Antona, 39, a stay-at-home mom from Kings Park with three boys who posted her Aug. 4 event at Elwood Cinemas on her Facebook page and soon had 95 attendees joining in the camaraderie. “Your husband’s not going to get it,” D’Antona says. “Unless he’s a stay-at-home dad.”
Brittny Anselmo, 42, is a public relations consultant, travel writer and mom blogger from Westbury with two kids, ages 4 and 6. She plans an informal outing with her mom friends to the AMC Levittown 10, with its plush reclining seats. She says the women plan to smuggle in wine in coffee cups and “enjoy a film that has nothing to do with animated princesses, dragons or minions.”
NO OFFENSE EXPECTED
The moms interviewed — even those who are PTA presidents — say they don’t expect to be offended by a film that portrays the PTA moms as perfectionists and the leaders of the rebellion as “hot messes.”
“I’m the PTA president of Smithtown Elementary,” says Gail DeClue, 40, who has organized an Aug. 11 event at Elwood Cinemas. “It’s not exactly me,” she insists, but then laughs and wonders if her friends will agree. “Maybe after we see the movie, they might be like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s so YOU.’ ”
But even as they fantasize about what life might be like if they really went AWOL from their parenting demands, the “Bad Moms” wannabes can never really leave their “good mom” behind. During the movie, predicts Litman, “everyone will have their cellphone on vibrate to wait for the emergency call from the baby sitter.”
A sampling of moms’-night-out screenings of “Bad Moms” scheduled for the coming days that still have seats available — some events have pre-screening activities and doors open earlier:
Thursday, July 28
7:30 p.m. at Soundview Cinemas, Port Washington. $40 includes light bites, refreshments and a pre-movie comedian. Purchase tickets at momtimebadmoms.eventbrite.com
8 p.m. at Seaford Cinemas. $15 includes popcorn and soda. For tickets, email Carol Sciotto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, July 29
7:30 p.m. at Merrick Cinemas. $16 includes popcorn and soda. Organized by Helaina Le-Vien of Massapequa Park, 516-512-0297.
Sunday, July 31
11 a.m. at Bellmore Playhouse. $15 includes lunch, dessert and sangria. Run by Vanessa Carlson and Colette DeVito of Westbury, proceeds go to Cub Scout Pack 362, 516-782-4744. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, July 29.
Wednesday, Aug. 3
7:30 p.m. at Elwood Cinemas, East Northport. $20 includes popcorn and soda. Proceeds go to the nonprofit Ollie’s Angels Animal Rescue. Tickets should be purchased in advance at olliesangelsanimalrescue.org. For information call Melissa Bielawski, 516-695-2487.