PLOT- As with every year, Amy (Mila Kunis) is feeling the societal pressure to give her children a magical and spectacular Christmas. She is barely keeping it together, when her mom, Ruth (Christine Baranski) decides to show up for her holiday visit several days ahead of schedule. Amy and Ruth have a strained relationship. Ruth demands perfection and Amy has never felt that she could live up to her mom's expectations. In an act of rebellion, Amy decides to cancel all of the stress of Christmas and just do a low-key holiday with her family. Her mother is mortified and fights to keep elaborate traditions and plans.
Kiki (Kristen Bell) loves her mother, but would also like her to back off. Sandy (Cheryl Hines) has arrived for the holidays and immediately she wants all of Kiki's attention. Sandy was a single mother and Kiki is her own child. Sandy now wants to be her daughter's best friend and has gone to extremes like getting Kiki's hairstyle for her own and wearing pajamas specially made with Kiki's face all over them. Sandy has boundary issues that Kiki struggles to address without hurting her mom.
Carla (Kathryn Hahn) never knows when her mother, Isis (Susan Sarandon) will show up in her life. When Isis arrives a few days before Christmas, Carla's gut tells her that it is because her mother needs money, like last time. Ever hopeful, Carla lets her wild, carefree mother back into her life.
LIKE- I live in a small town that has one, tiny theater. I'm not sure that A Bad Moms Christmas would have even been on my radar if I had more options, but I wanted to see a movie on my day off and this was it! I did rent Bad Moms and thought it was funny. It was about what I expected, a cute comedy with a great cast.
This franchise is driven by the cast. The story is predicable, but the quirky characters and fabulous cast is what kept me engaged in the film. A Bad Moms Christmas has doubled the fun, by bringing on Baranski, Sarandon and Hines to play the mothers of the leads. In particular, Baranski is a stand-out as an hyper-competitive perfectionist bent on under cutting her daughter's dream of a low-key Christmas. Baranski gets the biggest laughs in the film.
The dodgeball scene is hilarious.
I liked the overarching theme of the problems between mothers and their adult daughters. I don't think there will be many grown women in the audience who can't relate to some degree to the relationship problems featured. Personally, mine were a toned-down mix between Amy's worries of not living up to her mom's perfection and Kiki's issues with trying to create space from her mom. My mom died nearly a decade ago, but watching A Bad Moms Christmas brought me right back to those emotions. To be fair, this is a comedy, so the situations are heightened and outrageous, but the underlying truths are still there.
Also, who doesn't relate to holiday stress? Ugh.
DISLIKE- I knew not to expect an Oscar-worthy film, so on the basis of this being fun and entertaining, I think it met all of the criteria. At the risk of being sexist and exclusionary, this is very much a women's movie. What's the movie version of "Chick-lit?" This is it. That said, there were a few men in my screening and they seemed to have enjoyed A Bad Moms Christmas.
RECOMMEND- A Bad Moms Christmas doesn't need to be seen on the big screen, but it's rental worthy.