A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)

This sequel to 2016’s unexpectedly warm-hearted comedy hits all the same beats, but something feels off this time around. Perhaps it’s that directors Jon Lucas and Scott More’s movie isn’t sure what it wants to be when it grows up: There isn’t much of a message behind the movie other than “a mom’s job is hard so you should be nice to her,” which is a nice sentiment… but also one that’s entirely removed from the reality of the human experience, which requires mutual respect. Mila Kunis seems disinterested throughout, while co-star Kirsten Bell is nearly invisible in a thankless supporting role that gives her even less to do than the first time around. Luckily Kathryn Hahn is on hand to deliver some big laughs, and even though her role is little more than a collection of vulgar obscenities, at least she livens things up once in a while. There isn’t much of a plot to speak of, which makes the movie’s pace hard to lock down, while the first-rate supporting cast (which includes Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon in a particularly embarrassing role) is left to flounder among the remnants of sub-sitcom writing masquerading as mainstream comedy.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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