A great big dirty mummy Christmas panto
Hollywood in recent years (despite the increasing spread of the upsidedown that are the sexual harassment revelations) has finally tapped the goldmine that are mature women audiences who just what to snort-laugh at gross physical comedy and filthy man-whore innuendo. Think Bridesmaids, Bachelorette and the recent Rough Night and Girls Trip.
A Bad Moms Christmas (Bad Moms 2) takes up the baton because frankly… waxing a ball-sac as a meet-cute and sharting your wedding dress is effing hilarious.
This is ostensibly the next chapter in the story of three imperfect school mums: Amy (Mrs Ashton Kutcher – Mila Kunis), who’s having her first post-divorce blended family Christmas with her new ‘hot dad’ boyfriend (Jay Hernandez); Kiki (the un-type-castable Kristen Bell) is a recovering doormat mum; and Carla (indie TV’s darling Kathryn Hahn), the unflappable beautician single mum with the ‘idiot son’ – as they pledge to ‘take back Christmas’ and avoid all the pressure to make the holidays perfect for their families.
About halfway through watching A Bad Moms Christmas it dawned on me I wasn’t watching a dreadful version of Bad Moms but rather an incredibly brilliant, extra sparkly, super-hammy, deliciously cheesy, totally hilarious, in-your-face with a huge-knowing-wink at the audience Christmas cinema confection.
The so-called-plot is really a wafer-thin charade for the real point of this film, which is to double-down on the mama-drama by introducing the ladies own mums: Ruth (Christine Baranski) is Amy’s uber-critical perfectionist mum, Sandy (Cheryl Hines) is Kiki’s ‘twinsies’ mum who has no boundaries, and Isis (Susan Sarandon) is Carla’s nomadic (hot) cowgirl mum who can’t remember her grandkids’ name and only comes around for money.
The three new moms eventually stop tormenting their respective children in genuinely earned moments of beautifully played emotion. Even better, the unlikely grandma posse befriend each other. They seem pitched for their own spin-off and head off on a New Year’s road trip to Las Vegas to rival any aging man comedy (Wild Lady Hogs anyone?)
Throughout the film the mums, kids and dads get up to some truly laugh-out-loud hijinx that’s enhanced by the repeated use of slow-mo and montage to capture these oscar-worthy actors’ rubber faces. Scenes include getting drunk in the mall and lap-dancing Santa, playing dodge-ball on trampolines and the unforgettable moment when Amy and Ruth bond over randomly sawing a Christmas tree.
Every woman has a standout moment (or 3) to shine and by the end of the film (full disclosure here… I am a mum who has a mum) I was convinced that this perfectly-overacted Christmas movie extravaganza should be the film to knock Love Actually of it’s perch as the must-see movie of every holiday season. As long as you take it all with a giant grain of salt on the lip of your Margaritas, then Bad Moms Christmas is a Christmas Cracker of a summer comedy.