Look for your Christmas chuckles elsewhere.
A Bad Moms Christmas
Directors: Jon Lucas(Bad Moms), Scott Moore (Bad Moms)
Screenplay: Lucas (Bad Moms), Moore
Cast: Mila Kunis (Black Swan), Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)
Runtime: 1 hr 44 min
by John DeSando
If you have a bottle of something that helps you through holidays with family, then use it liberally after seeing A Bad Moms Christmas because this film will only add to your blues. Not only is it not funny; it is also boring as it trades mercilessly on stereotypical mother/daughter rivalry and takes amusing moments stretching them out to seeming infinity.
For the three principal young moms, Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell), and Carla (Kathryn Hahn), their mothers in different ways present the ugly side of cheer. In each case the mother domineers by not appreciating her daughter, competing with her, or so misunderstanding her as to make familial love impossible.
As for Amy’s kids, helicoptering by Grandma Ruth (Christine Baranski) is the mode of loving, never a good thing and one of the few satirical nuggets in an otherwise sloppy script. Not that grandma is devoid of good lines, e.g., “Its December 19th — even the Jews have Christmas trees by now.”
Most egregious are the lengthy sequences with a male stripper, Ty (Justin Hartley), which have him dancing too much with those gestures supposed to be erotic but end up being lame, even if he is better than Magic Mike. At least the directors/writers, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, have the wit to place him romantically with the cheesiest of the three ladies, Carla.
The coda is arguably the best part when it philosophizes about the fraught relationships between most daughters and mothers. But that’s too little too late. The Grinch rightfully owns this movie, so move on to find real laughs somewhere this season—good luck with that.
John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com