Christmas is upon us and with every approaching Christmas season, audiences can expect a seasonally themed comedy (or two) to crop up in November/December. This year, in addition to the Daddy’s Home 2 joy, we have a festive sequel to Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s fine Comedy hit Bad Moms. Unfortunately it seems that A Bad Moms Christmas makes the fundamental error of not actually having many (or arguably any) jokes on show.
The concept is very by the books for festive family fracas fare and sees the three bad matriarchs from the last film – Amy (Mila Kunis), Carla (Kathryn Hahn) and Kiki (Kristen Bell) – prepare for the big show for mums (sorry, ‘moms’)…Christmas. But their job of taking all the stress of the holidays and styling it out will be made even worse this year, as their own mothers – Ruth (Christine Baranski), Sandy (Cheryl Hines) and Isis (Susan Sarandon) – each have their own plans this year. Now, I’ll admit straight out of the gates that I am not the intended audience for this film but with films like Paul Feig’s The Heat and Spy, as well as the recent success of Bridget Jones’s Baby and Girls Trip, I was hoping this female led comedy would be a hoot, sadly that was not the case.
The first film did its job reasonably well but in the case of this sequel; it just feels like the female equivalent of the naff Hangover sequels – needless, occasionally mean spirited and frankly an unfunny attempt to milk a successful first film into a series. A Bad Moms Christmas has not one original thought to it and to be honest fails to justify its existence at all. It wouldn’t even be so bad if there were jokes but the script is practically non-existent, there are little written gags just semi-naked dancing, piss ups and swearing. Unlike satirical gems like The Thick Of It (which lathers profanity over a biting and hilarious script and story), A Bad Moms Christmas just lazily drops an F-Bomb or body part into the mix and mistakes it for a gut busting punchline.
There are no real jokes here and it means that the game cast are left floundering, trying to make the clichéd plot work, despite you knowing every inch of it already (from the calamity to the family make up sessions to the loud n’ brash soundtrack even!). The whole “we’re taking back Christmas” thing doesn’t really fly and it’s largely because some of the characters are so over the top in their construction that they make you cringe in all the wrong ways or are just pretty unbelievably written.
A Bad Moms Christmas just wastes a reasonably impressive cast on a cookie cutter Christmas comedy that lacks laughs and real poignancy. Instead this film just feels to lazily rely on the success of the first and on mums swearing and twerking with Santa being a recipe for sheer hilarity every time…it isn’t.
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