We Should Have Spiked The Egg Nog: Our Review of ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - November 01, 2017
We Should Have Spiked The Egg Nog: Our Review of ‘A Bad Mom’s Christmas’

It’s hard to fault anyone going for the money, but there’s got to be a line in the sand in order to maintain any kind of respectability.

Invariably in the history of cinema, sequels are always about the money and in that respect A Bad Moms Christmas does hit all the anticipated buttons while actually delivering a few genuine laughs, however it is mostly just a sad cash grab for all involved as every single talent on screen has proven how good they have been and can be given the right material which just isn’t found here.

Amy, Carla and Kiki (Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn & Kirsten Bell) once again rise up against the system and rebel against the challenges and expectations of the one time of year that sets mothers everywhere on edge: Christmas. They want the perfect holiday for their families to be something that they can all embrace and as if that wasn’t hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers (Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon & Cheryl Hines).  Our favorite moms will redefine how to make the holidays special for all and discover a way to a closer relationship with their own mothers…as long as they don’t kill them first.

Yes, A Bad Moms Christmas is pap, pabulum and even a little pathetic at times as it aims for the lowest common denominator of comedy, focusing more on goofy setups and hijinks then actually structuring a legitimate narrative for any of the characters to be able to get behind.  Sure it’s a little fun at times but if we hadn’t have been taking notes it would have been difficult to actually finish this review.

Writer/Directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have a long and fairly successful track record in comedy as a genre and they know what works, but sometimes you can lean on the familiar just a little too much.  The narrative was so thread bear that this film actually felt like an episode of Family Guy that was just stringing us along from ridiculous set piece to ridiculous set piece (which were hit and miss at best) rather than giving us as an audience a concrete story that we could get with from beginning to end.  It tries too hard to rehash beats from the first film which was a nice and cathartic little variation that allowed all the mothers out there to cut loose and get there party on.  It worked because the only real stakes were being able to show up all the other parents in the neighbourhood who try and put on the illusion of a perfect life when there are all really as stressed and screwed up as our heroines.  Here with Christmas being on the line, we never felt the stakes enough as the kids are way too far in the background of the narrative and the drama with the parents never feels above and beyond because family is always something difficult to deal with around the holidays and it all felt just awkward and forced.  Sure the occasional genuine laugh was generated but nothing up to the pedigree of the ensemble.

The three leads in Kunis, Bell and Hahn were simply wasted and watching them get drunk in a food court of a mall may have actually been more entertaining than the seemingly random shenanigans they get into here.  They’ve all done better work in the past and the material here just lets them down not giving them any real Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines were either grossly miscast, underwritten or underappreciated to the point that it was kind of sad that they were even there in the first place.  Jay Hernandez, Justin Hartley and Peter Gallagher were totally underwritten to the point that I could have played all three parts and you may not have even noticed…and Hartley is practically nude for a good chunk of his screen time…that’s how bad it all really is.

A Bad Moms Christmas is just an attempt at some foul mouthed fun that rounds itself out at the edges far too much to a point of no return where any chance at genuine character driven comedy like we saw in the first effort gets thrown out the window for cheesy slapstick, bad gags and overly sentimental pabulum which is only there because it’s a film about the holiday season.

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David Voigt, has been a lover of cinema all his life and an actual underpaid critic for a solid 5 years covering everything that the city of Toronto has to offer. He was a content manager in video distribution industry before that and his love of all things cinema goes back to his first moments in awe looking up at the big screen. His 12 years of experience on the home entertainment side of the business have provided him with a unique view on what is worth spending your hard earned entertainment dollars on. Combine that with his unquestioned love of film, David should be your only stop to find out about the best in film, not only in Toronto, but worldwide.