A Bad Mom’s Christmas
by George Wolf
“Okay, fine, we’ll go caroling, but I’m not wearing that ridiculous costume.”
Man, what a setup. When we see her wearing that ridiculous costume two seconds later it’s really, really…not funny at all, much like the other 103 minutes of A Bad Mom’s Christmas.
The original Bad Moms might have been completely superficial and a champion of equal rights for cliched, underwritten male characters, but at least it managed some chuckles from three talented leading ladies.
And beyond all that, it was a box office smash, so the moms are back to do Christmas this year, mainly against their will.
Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) are tired of being overworked and under appreciated every Holiday season, so they make an oath to “take Christmas back” and just chill this year.
But they’re barely done giving lap dances to a mall Santa when they all get visits from more easily identifiable cliches, gift-wrapped as their own mothers! What the?
Amy’s mom(Christine Baranski) is the demanding perfectionist, Kiki’s (Cheryl Hines) the stage five clinger and Carla’s (Susan Sarandon) is the party hound. All three are here to make their daughters feel overworked and under appreciated, at least until everybody learns something today.
Writers/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover trilogy) return from the first film to surround even more talented ladies with lazy, condescending attempts at comedy and female bonding.
The obvious gags rarely rise above the level of women talking dirty and little kids dropping F-bombs. Sure, that can be funny, but not when the women and kids are the only reasons it’s supposed to be funny.
Like the bedroom of Amy’s teen daughter that bears two-too-many “I love soccer” banners, Lucas and Moore are desperately trying to not only show they can write funny women but also that they are finely tuned to what makes women feel fulfilled as mothers and daughters.
A Bad Mom’s Christmas is contrived and forced at every turn, and by the time a mother/daughter heart to heart disrupts Midnight Mass while the congregation never takes one eyeball off the choir, a gift receipt is in order.