A Bad Moms Christmas

The women needed some mid-shop refreshments
Verdict: 
5/10 - Full of silly antics and slapstick, this fluffy movie offers up little in the way of genuine laughs.
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A Bad Moms Christmas follows three mothers who rebel against the pressure to create the perfect holiday celebration.

5

Christmas movies typically revolve around holiday romances or children waiting for Santa Claus.

But A Bad Moms Christmas is aimed at a totally unique demographic - mothers.

Directed and written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the comedy picks up where 2016's Bad Moms left off, with Mila Kunis reprising her role as Amy, Kristen Bell as Kiki and Kathryn Hahn taking on the part of Carla.

While the original movie focused on under-appreciated and overburdened mothers who rebel against school politics and demand better support from spouses, A Bad Moms Christmas sees the trio resist pressure to hold "perfect" Christmas celebrations and appease their children.

As if managing work and parenting isn't hard enough, they also have to do it while hosting and entertaining their own respective mothers when they unexpectedly come to visit, throwing up a whole new set of complications.

Touching on the antics from the first flick, it opens with the trio ditching their kids to go drinking in a shopping mall, and ending up drunkenly posing with Santa as well as stealing a Christmas tree from Lady Foot Locker.

Any raunchiness is swiftly pushed to the side when the ladies' mothers enter the picture, and quite honestly, steal the show.

TV legend Christine Baranski plays Ruth, the uptight and controlling mum of Mila Kunis' character Amy, who is determined to throw her family an extravagant festive event, including a huge party with 180 guests, ice sculptures, sushi chefs and a camel.

All Amy wants is to have a relaxing day with her two teenagers, but she becomes caught up in her mother's complicated scheme, and in the process, realises there is an underlying reason for her Ruth's bizarre and diva-like behaviour.

Though Kiki was the quirkiest character in Bad Moms, she is well outdone by her mother Sandy, portrayed by Curb Your Enthusiasm's Cheryl Hines, who insists on stalking her daughter's every move, and even copying her haircut.

And Susan Sarandon injects a dose of star power into the narrative, playing Carla's rock chick mother Isis, who is in town for a fun time, not a long time.

None of the mothers are particularly "bad" or neglectful, but the film does its best to tackle some more complicated themes such as the impact of dysfunctional relationships, family dynamics, female friendships and the burdens women take on.

Male characters are pushed to the sidelines, with Peter Gallagher playing Amy's dutiful father Hank and Jay Hernandez shining as her sweet boyfriend Jessie.

Though there aren't as many gags in this instalment, This Is Us star Justin Hartley shows off his comic ability as Ty, a dimwitted stripper, who catches Carla's eye.

All of the stars offer up competent performances, but as far as storylines go, this movie is pretty fluffy.

That said, if you're a busy mother seeking some quiet time away from hectic shops and school recitals, A Bad Moms Christmas may just be the 104-minute reprieve you need.

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