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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Amid the raunch and hijinks are the messages that being close to someone doesn't give that person the right to treat you unkindly or ignore your boundaries. Though this movie is over the top and the mother-daughter relationships exaggerated, the issues between them stem from real problems that are at least addressed, even if it's in a predictable way. Friendship is also important, and motherhood isn't resented in and of itself -- being made to feel inferior for not doing it "right" is.
Positive Role Models
Many characters make iffy choices (binge-drinking, stealing groceries, etc.), but the three mother-daughter sets also care about each other and try to work through issues. The portrayal of men is kinder and more thoughtful in this movie than in some others -- though men are sometimes mocked or objectified (one memorable line has a long-married woman saying her husband has a brain "the size of a walnut"), they play stronger and more sympathetic roles. A couple of body-shaming moments: A mother says her daughter isn't going to the gym regularly and pokes her belly; a man with a larger body type is booed in a stripping Santa contest as the camera lingers on his flesh. Also a couple of uncomfortable racial jokes: A mean mom calls her daughter's (Latino) boyfriend Jesus (not his name) and tells him to bring in the luggage.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is generally silly/cartoonish. For example, people are pushed down when a group of moms steals a Christmas tree from a mall store. At one point, one character advises another to "beat the s--t" out of her overbearing mother. Arguments/yelling.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Tons of sexual talk, jokes, and innuendo. One of the moms makes a large gingerbread penis and pretends to lick it. Later, one of the grandmas takes a bite out of it. A character starts making out in bed with her husband, presumably about to have sex, only to be interrupted when they notice her mom is in the room watching. As she's leaving, she says that her husband liked when she "tickled his balls." One character works as a waxer at a spa; many jokes about waxing genitals and a scene in which a man comes in to have his "balls, penis, and taint" waxed. He's shown completely nude from the side (no genitals seen), holding his legs over his head, offering to move his "butt cheeks" apart for the waxer. Viewers hear about his enormous penis. Later, the same character takes part in a "strip Santa" contest; he gyrates in satin boxer shorts with an outline of a (likely prosthetic) penis showing. Other body part/sex jokes include a running gag about a teen getting struck in the testicles and another running joke about a very young girl who hears her father's girlfriend screaming "Oh my f---ing God" in ecstasy (and repeats that phrase several times). Many sexual scenes have an absurd/satiric edge, like when a group of women gives a mall Santa lap dances. Characters kiss after getting drunk in a mall. Character shouts that she's "drunk and horny."
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Frequent use of "f--k," "motherf----r," "p---y," and "s--t," as well as plenty of other language: "d--k," "boner," "balls," "t-ts," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "c--k," "wieners," "taint," "ass," "whore," "nut sack," and more.
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Products & Purchases
One grandmother gives her grandchildren lavish brand-name gifts: iPhone, Xbox, Louis Vuitton, etc. A chain of trampoline parks clearly furnished some cash: A pivotal scene takes place there, the chain's logo is shown repeatedly, and one character ends her arc by getting a job there. Other mall stores (Foot Locker, etc.) are seen and jingles are sung (e.g., for Kay Jewelers).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Many scenes celebrate alcohol and binge drinking, with characters guzzling shots, beers, and cocktails after specifically voicing plans to get drunk. One character smokes joints several times, including in public places.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Bad Moms Christmas is the sequel to Bad Moms and has similar levels of raunch, drinking, drugs, and language. Expect plenty of sexual content -- including jokes about an impressively endowed man (a stripping scene shows the "evidence" via a prominent outline in his underwear), a scene in which a nude man holds his legs over his head so that a waxer at a spa can get at his private parts, scenes involving licking/eating a large gingerbread penis, and a young girl who repeats what she's heard her dad's girlfriend yelling at night ("Oh my f---ing God"). There's also tons of drinking, iffy drunken choices, shoplifting, sexy dances with a mall Santa, and public joint-smoking by one grandma in particular. Language is raunchy, with lots of body part words ("p---y," "c--k," "balls," "t-ts," "d--k," "boner") and cursing ("f--k," "s--t"). People with larger body types are the target of a couple of jokes, particularly when a large man swings his flesh gamely during a stripping competition and is booed by the crowd. In other scenes, an intolerant character calls her daughter's (Latino) boyfriend Jesus (not his name) and tells him to go get her luggage, as if he's a servant. But underneath it all are messages about the importance of friendship and mother-daughter bonds. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Maybe it's the beer and shots talking, or maybe the Christmas lights are casting a twinkly holiday glow, but this outing is a little bit sweeter than -- if just as filthy as -- the original. "Families coming together at Christmas" is, of course, one of the most done-to-death holiday-special plots of all time, but the Bad Moms Christmas cast is so charming, so compelling, that they wring some genuine emotional gold out of the clichés of trampoline dodge ball showdowns, elaborate "12 days of Christmas" holiday house-lighting schemes, and parents and children who could get along if they'd just learn to listen to each other. It certainly helps that all of the excellently cast grandmothers have sharp comic chops, most particularly Baranski, whose Ruth is so imperious that her husband irons her satin pajamas at night. (Hines' hilariously co-dependent Sandy is a close second). So the mom-daughter Special Moments never get too schmoopy; sensitive viewers may even find themselves shedding a tear or two.
And yes, of course, there are a whole bunch of Christmas-mayhem set pieces, most particularly a scene in which our mom-heroes vow to take back Christmas -- which turns out to mean guzzling liquor in a mall food court, dirty dancing with a game Santa, and ripping off a Christmas tree from a Foot Locker. A scene in which Carla undertakes a personal waxing job for an exotic dancer is another highlight, with her client tenderly expressing how much he'd like a date with her just before he asks whether she'd like him to part his butt cheeks for her so she can wax more thoroughly. No, the movie doesn't go anywhere you couldn't have predicted from the beginning, but it's fun, and funny, too -- particularly for viewers who know exactly what it's like to be overworked and underappreciated.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.