Movie Review: Bad Moms Make A Bad Christmas

Movie Review: Bad Moms Make A Bad Christmas
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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A Bad Moms Christmas is both everything and nothing like fans are expecting. It has the jokes and increased budget audiences anticipate. Unfortunately, it disappoints audiences by removing all intelligence and warmth from the story, leaving a sad, dull holiday disappoint at the movies.

BMC is a follow-up to last July’s runaway hit Bad Moms. Except now, the mothers are leading suburban anarchy against the adult stress of Christmastime. November 1st – the very day after Halloween – is arguably too eager and soon to release a Christmas-themed movie.

Writers/directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (writers of The Hangover series) return from the original. But this time they’ve made a film without a purpose above a paycheque. It’s deprived of Lucas and Moore’s sincerity that made the first Bad Moms more than just crude jokes.

Even worse, the story is entirely predictable from start to finish, with no surprises in any moment, character or plot line. It’s thinly plotted like a bad holiday television special instead of a major Hollywood movie.

The movie mostly focuses on a group of moms and friends (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, all returning) who decide to skip the usual hassle of planning Christmas this year, and chaos ensues when each of their mothers arrives unexpectedly.

A nauseating number of plots and characters in the ensemble cast means the movie feels like a set of vignettes. It’s made worse when it turns into a commercial. The family bonding scene halfway through is a 12-minute advertisement for Sky Zone trampoline park.

Photo: STX Entertainment

The new cast, especially the mothers, range from annoying to awful on screen. Their behavior is enabling, rude, and worse than their daughters. These kinds of characters validate holiday materialism because of insecurities between parents and their kids.

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The film’s singular asset is its straightforward, sincere humour. Most scenes are an extreme hit or miss – while some are boring, I must admit, others are delightfully funny. One scene with Hahn waxing a new client of hers (This Is Us’s Justin Hartley) is five minutes of comic gold.

But these are ruined by so many upsetting scenes. The moms’ reckless antics are beyond amusing like those in the original; some of the things they do while drunk in a shopping mall are past the line of criminal activity (including some unspeakable things to Santa Claus.)

There’s no compelling reason to see the bad moms “celebrating” Christmas this season. The concept of adult relatives squabbling during the holidays among the cinematic canon’s most tired plots.

Don’t believe me? Look at rival studio Paramount, releasing Daddy’s Home 2 just next week. It’s also a comedy sequel about parents getting surprised by the arrival of grandparents for Christmas. Beyond the gender of the feuding parents/grandparents, the films are identical copies.

It’s totally unoriginal and a disastrous, too-soon sequel. Lucas and Moore have abandoned heart and intelligence for fast commercialism on shallow characters. These moms and their families aren’t festive. They’re just bad.

A Bad Moms Christmas
1 out of 4 stars

14A, 101 minutes. Holiday Comedy.
Written and Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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