A Bad Moms Christmas Comedy

'A Bad Moms Christmas' Film Review: A festive holiday comedy that pairs humor and emotion perfectly

November 1, 2017Britany Murphy

Hilarity ensued in the first installment of the Bad Moms series, where we got to see everything from the point of view of one frazzled mother. This time around, we get to see just what is in store when the Bad Moms are visited by their own mothers for Christmas.

The film opens with a dejected Amy (Mila Kunis), perched on some steps inside her house, with a voice-over explaining why her kids hate her yet again and that she just ruined Christmas. Of course, we then see the toppled Christmas tree, the smashed ornaments and the upended festive cupcake tower — but what could have led to such a calamity? As we journey back to a week before Christmas day, we revisit the moms, Amy, Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell), as the trio tackle what needs to be done for the impending holiday season.

However, plans go out the window when Amy's mother, Ruth (Christine Baranski), and her father, Hank (Peter Gallagher), show up. Being a woman who needs everything to be perfect, the instant Ruth appears on Amy’s doorstep, she's critical about every single thing. The lack of a Christmas tree when it's December 19th, the food, and even the decorations are not good enough for Ruth. Amy's boyfriend, Jessie (Jay Hernandez), assures her that everything will be alright and that perhaps Christmas with Ruth won't be as terrible as she believes. But if Amy knows anything, she knows that her mother's presence in her home will be anything but a good time.

Meanwhile, at Kiki's home, her four kids are giving her a hard time, messing up the Christmas tree decorations, drinking the water out of the tree stand and asking if Santa is even real. Thankfully, her husband, Kent (Lyle Brocato), enters just in the nick of time and gets them out of her hair so she can try to finish up the final Christmas preparations. But then comes a knock on her door. Kiki had been expecting her mother, but not for another three weeks. And while Sandy (Cheryl Hines) is her daughter's biggest supporter, she doesn't always recognize the need for privacy and personal space. Suffice it to say, as nice as Kiki is, even she has a breaking point.

Next up is Carla. But whereas Amy and Kiki want desperately to get rid of their moms, she, on the other hand, is simply hoping that hers will stay. Isis (Susan Sarandon) hasn't seen Carla or her grandson, Jaxon (Cade Mansfield Cooksey), in three years; and the last time she showed up it was to borrow money, something Carla hopes is not the case this time around. In keeping with the holiday spirit, however, Carla gives Isis the benefit of the doubt, even though she has her suspicious about her mom's true motivations.

When the trio of friends meet up to share horror stories about the hellish Christmas prep they've been enduring since their mothers arrived, they make a pact to take Christmas back by standing up to their mothers, thus beginning their shenanigans. But not everything is fun and games. A gag that has them spiking the complimentary cider being handed out at the mall ends up being one of the film's most laugh-out-loud riotous scenes, but soon these moms' clashing personalities begin to get the better of them, and they lose their Christmas spirit.

Directed and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, A Bad Moms Christmas serves up more than just laughs, though, reminding us that while our moms might not be perfect, most of the time they are just trying their best to direct us down the right path in life. As Wanda Sykes' therapist character, Dr. Karl, points out, all their craziness is done out of love. After all, what's important during the holiday season isn't material things like presents, but being blessed with the opportunity to create great memories and moments with all our loved ones.

A Bad Moms Christmas releases November 1st, 2017 from Entertainment One. The film has an MPAA rating of R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some drug use. Its runtime is 1 hr. 44 min.

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