Film: "A Bad Moms Christmas"; Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore; Cast: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Jay Hernandez, Cheryl Hines, Peter Gallagher, Justin Hartley, Christine Baranski and Susan Sarandon; Rating: **
Every Christmas, there is a film that eulogises the merits of the festival as a family affair, and this year it is, "A Bad Moms Christmas", that does the needful with flair. A sequel to last year's "Bad Moms", this one, with its raunchy comedy that would definitely make Santa and all of us blush to the rosiest of pinks.
Like the previous edition, this one, written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, is formulaic, crass and intermittently entertaining. It is a tale of three mothers and their mothers.
Amy, Kiki and Carla are friends who feel overworked and underappreciated while striving to give their children a good memorable Christmas. Their mothers; Ruth, Sandy and Isis, unexpectedly turn up at their homes and upset their plans.
How the trio, after sorting out their differences with their mothers, celebrate a great family reunion, forms the crux of the tale.
The writing is lazy. The narrative begins in a staid manner. It is Christmas Eve and the newly divorced Amy Mitchell is sitting on her stairs amidst a wreckage lamenting that she has ruined, her family Christmas. She then rewinds a week earlier. The exposition takes a diary format - (6 days to Christmas, 5 days to Christmas and so forth) which to tell us what lead to Christmas Eve.
The plot is carelessly sub-standard and frothy with chaos, conflicts and resolutions that seem extremely contrived. If the trio were bad moms in the previous edition, then their mothers who are pluckier with a one-dimensional graph, and they play it well, are notches higher than their daughters in the bad scale.
Amy's mom Ruth is a control freak, constantly dominating Amy in the garb of being a perfect mother. Kiki's mom Sandy is a sweet, emotional parasite who makes life difficult for her daughter and Carla's mom Isis is a druggie and a habitual gambler who always visits her daughter to borrow money. They are the perfect foil to their daughters' "bad mom".
While Mila Kunis delivers a perfect pitch as the recently divorced Amy Mitchell, she is a bore to watch. Kristen Bell is sincere as the pert and perfect housewife Kiki who is distressed when her mother spies on her having sex with her husband.
But it is Kathryn Hahn as the crass Carla who steals the show. She is the voluptuous and brazen single mother, who recycles her Christmas gift to her loving but slow-on-the-uptake son. It is fun to watch her being crass, uncouth and honest when she works in her salon.
They are aptly supported by; Christine Barankski as Ruth, Cheryl Hines as Sandy, Susan Sarandon as Isis, Jay Hernandez as Amy's love interest Jessie, Justin Hartley as the male stripper Ty Swindle - Carla's love interest and Cade Cooksey as Carla's son.
On the technical front, with moderate production values the film is definitely more wild, spunkier, vulgar and aggressive than the earlier "Bad Moms". Entertaining in parts, whether or not you enjoy the film solely depends upon your taste.
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