Film: A Bad Moms Christmas
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Peter Gallagher, Jay Hernandez, Justin Hartley, Lyle Brocato, Christina Applegate
Directors: Jon Lucas & Scott Moore
Rating: * *
You know you can’t take this crass and vulgar movie seriously when a titular character, who is addicted to booze, drugs and gambling gets a job as child security! Cynically, the filmmakers (who made the execrable HANGOVER movies) have woven a feel-good ending at a Christmas service in a church after filing it with obscenities, foul language and lewd situations. For a single word that aptly sums up this enormous waste of talent, look no further, then the adjective in the title.
A Bad Moms Christmas finds “bad moms” (played by Susan Sarandon and Christine Baranski) descending on their three-female progeny Amy (Mila Kunis) Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) who are anything but pleased to be hospitable at Christmas. There’s this beautiful Hebrew saying, “God could not be everywhere and so he made mothers”. You’d think the young trio would be happy to have them over during, “the holiday season”, naa re baba. Amy, Kiki and Carla make their displeasure felt in no uncertain terms.
The viewer must note how the screenwriters have made the older moms, as unpleasant as possible, to manipulate viewers’ sympathy, for the younger lot. But I refuse to be manipulated by the farcical plot or characters: (a) ultra-possessive mom Sandy (Cheryl Hines) who skulks in her daughter/son-in-law’s bedroom! (b) Perfectionist mom Ruth (Baranski) who tries to inflict opera on a family whose idea of fun is low brow (c) Aged rocker Isis (Sarandon) who swears incessantly/drinks in church/smokes pot in public.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Amy’s decision to, “take back Christmas”, involved putting Christ back into Christmas. Alas! Amy’s idea of a low-key Christmas involves boozing, ogling male strippers, and the destruction of her home. Worse, there’s no baby Jesus, no Mary and Joseph, no angels, no star, no wise men! Where’s the reason for the season?
There’s not even a crib in sight. Not even in Church! Mercifully, there’s a “happy” resolution which comes long after, the depraved behaviour of Carla who falls in love with the private parts (seriously!) of a stripper (Justin Hartley). One star is what this movie merits for its message of friendship, forgiveness and family. And one for Sarandon and Baranski.
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