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The Challenge of ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’

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November 1, 2017

A Bad Moms Christmas isn’t just a movie, it’s a challenge. Think back to the first film: America’s mothers showed up in full force to Bad Moms not knowing what to expect. They left elated at the hilarity of the film, but also with the feeling of understanding that someone out there, someone in Hollywood, GOT US. Suddenly, we realized we weren’t alone in feeling we are drowning in the expectations of today’s Pinterest-perfect mommydom. Watching Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn take on the PTA moms was an unexpected breath of fresh air by those of us who were gasping to stay afloat.

A Bad Moms Christmas? This is different. This time, we’re prepared.

This is not a see-it-alone-while-the-kids-are-in-school experience. It’s a how-many-mom-friends-can-you-round-up experience. It’s a let’s-do-drinks-before-and-after-the-film experience. It’s a don’t-bathe-and-feed-the-kids-before-leaving-the-house-that’s-what-dads-are-for experience. Bad Moms Christmas is a challenge. Which of your friends will be the baddest of the moms?

To join me in our film-watching experience, I took my most badass mom friend, Angela. Angela is a former model turned overzealous mom who does things like move her family to Bali for a semester so her kids can experience island life like an islander. She’s outrageous, outspoken and a whole lot of fun.

We arrived 10 minutes before the film started and watched everyone arrive. The vibe was different from the get go: loud laughter as people found their seats, adults propping their feet up on the chair in front of them, big groups of women carrying glasses of wine (if there was ever a movie to see in a theater that serves cocktails, it’s this one).

Then, in walks a woman with a 7-year old toting a teddy bear. Wait, what? I start to stand up to tell her she’s in the wrong theater but then the two sit with a man who appears to be the dad/husband. Oh my. She’s taking this bad moms challenge a little far because A Bad Moms Christmas, just like the first film, is raunchy and wrong … in all the right ways.

In A Bad Moms Christmas, Amy (Mila Kunis), Kiki (Kristen Bell) and Carla (Kathryn Hahn) are happily settled into their freshly adjusted family relationships as they prep for the holidays. For Amy and Kiki, who both have significant others, there’s a lot of, shall we say, rocking around the Christmas tree. Carla, however, is spending more time with her son and, as a result, every night is a silent one. That is, until Carla meets her perfect match in a scene so hysterically funny but so NSFW – body humor at its finest  — expect your friends to be quoting it for months, if not years.

Then, their mothers show up. Amy’s mom (Christine Baranski) is an overbearing my-way-or-the-highway perfectionist. Kiki’s mom (Cheryl Hines) is a stage five clinger who believes her daughter is her best friend. Carla’s mom (Susan Sarandon) is neglectful and detached. These mothers all have a comeuppance coming their way, and when their daughters deliver it, it is pure fantasy for those of us (all of us!) who’ve ever wanted to tell our own mom to just back off.

In a nutshell, the movie is satisfying but for adults only – the language is shocking, the alcohol consumption is rampant, the sex talk is blunt, and the jokes are dirty. It’s the perfect way to blow off some steam with your girlfriends. Better yet, it inspires some authentic, trashy, post-movie conversation. Angela and I spoke about the terrible lingerie our sweet husbands get for us and God Bless ‘em for thinking we can still rock a bustier and garter like a 22-year old Victoria’s Secret model. We chatted about how the day we get our period has become exciting because it means our newly expanded belly roll is bloat, not burgers. But, mostly we spoke about the woman who brought her 7-year old to see A Bad Moms Christmas – we seriously considered calling the cops.  We talked about it all the way into the parking lot: that mom didn’t seem concerned at all about her child during the film, even in its most inappropriate moments. Maybe she’s not the mother! Maybe the child has been kidnapped?! Do we call the police?

As we were loudly discussing this behind a parked car, a woman appeared to put her purse in the back seat. That woman. That mom. That bad mom. She glared at us. She’d heard everything we’d said. We slowly walked past her car, peering inside. The 7-year old seemed happy as a clam. The dad looked totally content, not at all like someone who abducted a random child and then took them to see a Rated R movie.

At that moment, we were passed by a huge group of guys headed into the theater – dads and sons around age 9 – all on their way to see Jigsaw, an R-rated gruesome slasher flick. Oh.

Angela and I realized the whole point of the Bad Moms movies is not to judge other mothers on their parenting. We’re all just doing our best. We moms may make some bad judgment calls, but fingers crossed, most won’t scar our kids for life.

My girlfriend and I got into our car and chatted the whole way home about school fundraisers, ridiculous diets and the crazy things our kids do. The greatest thing about A Bad Moms Christmas is realizing it’s not just someone in Hollywood who understands us, it’s every other mom in America.

So now, the question is: will you accept the challenge?

(But seriously. Don’t bring your kids.)

Tara McNamara is an Entertainment Correspondent for She received compensated tickets to view Bad Moms Christmas.

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